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Myringotomy with P.e. Tubes


A myringotomy is a procedure to put a tube through a hole in your eardrum. The eardrum protects your middle ear and helps you hear. Pressure equalizing (PE) tubes drain fluid from inside your ear. Over time, the tube will fall out or be removed by a healthcare provider.

Ear Anatomy


Before your procedure:

  • Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your myringotomy. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Your healthcare provider may test your hearing. Ask your healthcare provider about this test, and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
  • Your healthcare provider may give you antibiotic medicine before your procedure. This medicine helps fight infection and may decrease your ear pain.
  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.

The night before your procedure:

Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Ask your healthcare provider before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Providers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.


What will happen:

Your healthcare provider may give you local anesthesia to numb your ear. You may feel pressure or pushing, but you should not feel pain during the procedure. You will likely be awake during the procedure. If you need to be asleep during the procedure, healthcare providers will give you general anesthesia. Your healthcare provider will make an incision in your eardrum. He will drain fluid that is trapped inside your middle ear out through this hole. Your healthcare provider will put a small PE tube into the hole, and may put antibiotic drops into your ear.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest. If you were asleep for your procedure, you will stay there until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed until healthcare providers say it is okay. When healthcare providers see that you are okay, you may go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your room.


  • You cannot make it to your procedure.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have new trouble hearing.
  • You have hearing loss, a ringing sound in your ear, or you feel dizzy after you use eardrops.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your ear bleeds.
  • You have severe pain in your ear.
  • You have sudden hearing loss.


  • During the procedure, a nerve may be damaged, which can decrease your ability to taste. After the PE is placed, you may get an infection and pus may drain from your ear. You may have hearing loss from bleeding or scar tissue. If your PE tube falls out too soon, you may need another procedure to put in a new tube. Your eardrum may tear from the PE tube, or may not close after the tube is removed. You may need surgery to repair this.
  • If you do not have a myringotomy with a PE tube, you may keep having ear infections and pain. Fluid may build up inside your ear, and your eardrum could burst. You may have continued hearing loss.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.