Instructions Following PE Tube Insertion

It is usually fairly easy to return to regular routines after tubes are placed.  Most children who have the procedure done in the morning are fine by afternoon. Adults, who have the procedure under local anesthesia, can return to their routines almost immediately.

What to expect:

  •  There may be some drainage of yellow, orange or bloody looking fluid for the first 24 hrs. This is normal as the ear empties out.
  •  The ear may feel either slightly sore, or as if there is something in there. This feeling usually dissipates within a couple of days, and Tylenol should be sufficient to take care of it.
  •  Hearing will usually improve immediately, though if the volume of fluid in the ear was large, it may be a day or two before the hearing comes around.
  •  The tubes usually stay in place for 9 months to a year, though much shorter and much longer periods may occur. We like to check your ears every 4-6 months while they are in place.
  •  You will come to see us at about 1 week post op to have an  exam and a post-op audiogram. If you are in an HMO, you should bring a referral for this audiogram (only applies to patients age 2 or over).

Activities, medications, and Diet:

  •  Return to your regular diet
  •  All activities are permitted. (If getting water in your ear becomes uncomfortable, you may find it helpful to wear a plug.)
  •  Use the ear drops, placing 3 drops in the operated ear(s) twice daily for __2___days. After placing the drops, use your finger to apply pressure to the ear canal, pumping the drops in.

When to call us:

  •  If the ear drains for more than 2 days after surgery, or starts draining at a later date.
  •  If the ear bleeds. Usually, this is not as bad a problem as it might at first seem. It may be a sign of the tube coming out if it has been in for a long time.


  •  Please call 508-540-0900 to make an appointment for folllow up on _______________
  •  Call me if you have any problems or any questions related to your surgery