Myringotomy Insertion of Tube Surgery PreOp® Patient Education


The human ear is made up of two chambers.
The inner ear and the middle ear. The middle ear is sealed off from the outside environment
by the tympanic membrane – or eardrum. In a healthy ear, this membrane acts to protect
the delicate interior of the ear from contamination. Occasionally, however, allergy, infection,
or other irritation can cause a buildup of pus, blood and other fluids within the middle
ear. In these cases, the seal created by the eardrum acts to prevent proper drainage and
can actually pose a health risk. Symptoms can include pain – caused by the
buildup of pressure – and even hearing loss. If left untreated the buildup of fluid can
damage the delicate structures located behind the eardrum – leading to temporary or even
permanent hearing loss. A myringotomy is a simple procedure in which
a small tube is inserted into the eardrum in order to allow fluids to drain out of the
middle, reducing pressure and allowing any infection to be treated with antibiotics. Your Procedure: On the day of your operation, you will be
asked to put on a surgical gown. You may receive a sedative by mouth and an
intravenous line may be put in. You will then be transferred to the operating
table. The surgeon will apply an antiseptic solution
to the skin on the interior of the ear canal and will then swab the area around the eardrum
with a local anesthetic. While the anesthetic is taking effect, the
surgeon will position a microscope in front of the ear. When the operative field is numb, the surgeon will use the microscope to help
make a very small incision in the lower part of the ear drum so that the fluid can drain
harmlessly away. In most cases, one or more drainage tubes
are left in place to continue to allow fluid to escape during healing. Sutures are not required, as the ear drum
will heal naturally. And the drainage tube will either fall out by itself – or it will
removed by the surgeon, one to three weeks later.

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