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Home arrow Forms & Instructions arrow Post Operative Instructions -- Tubes
Post Operative Instructions -- Tubes PDF Print E-mail
  1. In the immediate post-operative recovery period, a liquid diet should be maintained.  You may feel temporarily drowsy and nauseated from the anesthesia.  Medication is available for nausea. 
  2. Diet:  When liquids are tolerated satisfactorily, the diet may be advanced to a regular diet with no restriction on types of food.  It should subside without difficulty.
  3. Pain:  The PET, tubes, do not cause pain.  Infants may be more fussy than usual.  This may be secondary to the anesthetic.  It may also be caused by the release of the fluid behind the eardrum upon inserting the tubes.  A few children may be reacting to the increased hearing ability after tube insertion: “the loud noise feels different or hurts.” The discomfort usually resolves within the first 24 hours after the surgery.  Both Tylenol and Motrin can be used after PET and or adenoidectomy.
  4. Fever:  A low-grade fever is common during the first several days after the operation.  It is often associated with inadequate fluid intake and should be treated by increasing fluids and using Tylenol or Motrin type products.  Both Tylenol and Motrin can be used after PET and or adenoidectomy.  Should the temperature rise above 102 degrees, you should contact the physician.
  5. Water precautions:  While the tubes are in place, the child should be more careful around water, but remember: A LITTLE WATER WON’T HURT.  Studies show that the child has to be about two feet under water for there to be enough pressure to push the water through the tube.  Rarely, is the bathtub or shower of great concern.  At Texas ENT and Allergy, we do not think the bathtub or shower require any different precautions.   Similarly, the wading pool or small backyard pool usually do not require ear protection.  Swimming pools and natural bodies of water (lakes, etc.) do require ear protection. This can be done by inserting a cotton ball in the ear and applying Vaseline to the outside or by using custom made ear molds.  These special molds may be obtained through our office.  Store purchased earplugs are not reliable.  No swimming is permitted unless custom ear molds are being used for surface swimming only.  Swimming underwater and diving require the addition of a swim cap or ear bandit. 
  6. Ear drainage:  A small amount of drainage from the ear canal often accompanies insertion of the tubes. The prescribed ear drops will treat this.  If there is too much discharge or if it persists after the first seven days, please call our office.  Ear drainage after the first week is abnormal but is not an emergency.  The drainage can even contain some blood.  It is often an indication that the tubes are “doing their job.”   Please call our office so we can help you with this.
  7. How long do the tubes stay in place:  The tubes usually remain in the eardrums for 6 to 18 months.   They usually fall out into the ear canal.  The eardrum heals completely in almost every case.  When the tubes are extruded, they then lie in the ear canal and cause no problems, or may fall out by themselves (like a piece of wax).  Rarely, do the tubes stay in too long.  In this case they can be surgically removed.  This is a similar procedure to inserting the tubes.
  8. Activity:  Your child may return to normal activity the following day in most cases.  Some children need a day or two more to recover form the surgery and the anesthetic.  This is not atypical: “Every body is different.”
  9. Follow-up:  A post-operative checkup should be scheduled for approximately one month after surgery. 
  10. If you have further questions, please contact us.
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