4210 North Roxboro Rd., Suite 140  •  Durham, NC 27704  •  919-620-7800

Post-Operative Instructions PE Tube Insertion
  1. Since your child has had a short general anesthetic procedure, proceed slowly with his/her diet.  Start with clear liquids and progress as tolerated.
  2. If nausea or vomiting occur, this should not last longer than 12-20 hours after surgery.  If nausea persists, please contact this office.
  3. If you have ear drops from the doctor for pain such as Auralgan®, Tympagesic® or Americaine® please throw them away. These drops will burn the middle ear tissue while the tubes are in place.  The patient may experience a certain amount of pulsation, popping, clicking and other sounds in the ear.  Feelings of fullness or occasional sharp pain are not unusual in the early post-operative period.  Tylenol® should be sufficient for any discomfort.
  4. If needed, pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) may be given.
  5. Your child may be somewhat tired for a few hours after surgery.  This is not unusual.  Allow your child to resume normal activity as tolerated.
  6. There may be drainage (clear to slightly bloody) for the first 2 to 3 days post-operatively.  Clean any drainage from the outside of the ear with hydrogen peroxide on a Q-Tip.  Do not worry about cleaning the inside of ear canal.  If the drainage is different than described above, or persists beyond 48 hours, please notify our office.
  7. Your doctor may prescribe ear drops following surgery.  Use 2-3 drops in each ear, 2 times a day for 3-5 days.
  8. After PE tubes are inserted, prevent dirty water from entering the ear canal.  Dirty water can carry bacteria into the middle ear through the tube and cause an ear infection. Dirty water includes lake, river, ocean and non-chlorinated water and excessively soapy or dirty bathtub water.  Dirty water should be avoided or children should wear silicone ear plugs.
  9. There is generally no need for ear protection when bathing, showering or swimming in clean or chlorinated water.  When bathing, hair should be rinsed with fresh water from the tap.  If the head is completely submerged, ear plugs should be worn.
  10. PE tubes will decrease the likelihood of ear infections; however, some children with tubes will develop an ear infection despite functional tubes.  Children with tubes will usually have foul-smelling drainage from the ear with an infection.  The drainage may be clear, yellow, green, brown or bloody.  If your child develops ear drainage, ear drops are typically used to treat the infection and may be obtained from your pediatrician or from this office.

Please call the office to schedule a follow up appointment with Dr. Taylor, two weeks after surgery.

Triangle ENT Services Association, PA
4210 North Roxboro Rd., Suite 140  •  Durham, North Carolina 27704  •  919-620-7800