Children who suffer from chronic or recurrent ear infections not responsive to antibiotics are candidates for tube placement. This surgery is highly successful in treating the infection and also improving the hearing. Children are often referred by their pediatricians or family doctors and undergo a full examination in our office which includes a hearing evaluation.
The problem of middle ear fluid is due to poor Eustachian tube function(the ventilation tube that places air behind the eardrum when we swallow). This is very common in infants and becomes less common as children grow. Often their Eustachian tube will mature and function better with age. Those children who are candidates to have tubes(ventilation tubes) placed will do so under a brief mask general anesthesia which takes about 15 minutes. A small incision is made in the front part of the eardrum at which time any fluid will be removed and the tube placed microscopically. Patients who require repeat tubes will possibly need a long-term tube called a T-tube. The standard tubes stay in about 9 months with the long term tubes staying in for years.
We have treated thousands of children for chronic ear infections, our anesthesia team has an outstanding safety record in treating children.