Myringotomy tubes, commonly referred to as ear tubes, are tiny metal, Teflon and plastic tubes that are put into a child’s eardrum. Myringotomy tubes require a surgical operation performed specifically by an ear, nose and throat surgeon. The purpose of myringotomy tubes is to assist the ear to drain out fluids. This reduces the child’s chances of having an ear infection. Ear infections must be avoided as they can severely impact a child’s hearing due to the collection of fluid in the middle section of the ear. Myringotomy tubes help to drain out the excess fluid that still remains in the ear after an infection.
Myringotomy tubes are surgically placed into the ears of around one million children every year. Parents of children who need myringotomy tubes should not panic over the procedure. It is the most common of childhood surgeries that are conducted with the help of an anesthetic. Kids who have the operation tend to be between the ages of 1 and 3 as once they reach 5 years old, they have typically developed elongated and wider ear canals called eustachian tubes that help to drain fluids.
The actual surgical process involves the help of three parties: Nurses, an anesthesiologist and a surgeon. Nurses perform the pre-operative procedures and also assist the surgeon during the actual operation. There are also recovery room nurses that help the patient once the myringotomy tubes have been put in place. The surgeon performs the surgery and the anesthesiologist develops an anesthesia plan for the patient and implements those drugs.
The surgical procedure that inserts the myringotomy tubes is fittingly called a myringotomy. The word myringotomy is a reference to the actual tiny hole that is cut in the ear drum. The incision is made with a scalpel or a laser with the help of a surgical microscope. The tube is inserted into the hole that was cut and the ventilation process begins. Sometimes surgeons remove the lymph tissue in the upper section that is found behind the nose immediately before or after the myringotomy tubes are inserted. Yet this usually occurs only if the patient needs two or three myringotomy tubes. Leading medical researchers have evidence to show that the removal of the adenoid tissue can decrease the chances of more ear infections occurring in the future that would require yet another surgery.