Grommet removal surgery

Can grommets be removed?

In a small number of children, grommets may not come out by themselves within 3 years. If this is the case, your child may need a further brief general anaesthetic to remove the grommets . The decision to remove working grommets must be weighed up against the possible risk of the return of ear infections and glue ear.

How long does it take to recover from grommet surgery?

Return to normal activity You/or your child will require 1 – 2 days/weeks off work/school to allow a full recovery . You/or your child should avoid swimming pool activities/lessons until the postoperative appointment with your MEG ENT Specialist. Please do not dive under water even with plugged ear canals.

What can I expect after grommet surgery?

It usually only takes a few days for them to get used to it. You might notice fluid or a small amount of blood coming from their ear for a day or two after the surgery (this tends to happen if their ear is especially swollen). You can clean around the outside of the ear but don’t poke anything into the ear canal.

Do grommets stay in forever?

Grommets are tiny tubes inserted into the eardrum. They allow air to pass through the eardrum, keeping the air pressure on either side equal. The surgeon makes a tiny hole in the eardrum and inserts the grommet into the hole. It usually stays in place for six to 12 months and then falls out.

What are the side effects of grommets?

Occasionally the body reacts to the presence of a grommet and the area becomes inflamed and may discharge. If this happens the grommet will have to be taken out. Sometimes the eardrum may become hardened and calcified. Other rare adverse events include hearing loss , tinnitus and dizziness .

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Can I swim with grommets?

Can my child swim with grommets in? Your child can start swimming about a month after the operation, as long as they don’t dive under the water. You do not necessarily need to use earplugs – the hole in the grommet is too small to let water through.

Are you put to sleep for grommets?

The operation may, in some cases, be performed under local anaesthetic.

How do you wash your hair after grommets?

Following grommet insertion, keep soapy water out of the ear. Wash hair using a shower, not by ‘dunking your head’ in the bath. This may be enough to keep water out of the ear but if not, use ear plugs (or cotton wool coated on the inside with vaseline).

What happens if you get water in your ears after grommets?

Once water reaches the middle ear it presents a risk for infection. As grommets are not a natural part of the body, they can sometimes develop a film of bacteria known as a “biofilm” which resides on the grommet . This may lead to recurrent discharge from the ear .

Do grommets work straight away?

Grommets should improve your child’s hearing straight away . Some children think everything sounds too loud until they get used to having normal hearing again. This usually takes only a few days.

How long after grommets can you wash hair?

Your child’s ears need to be kept completely dry for two weeks after the operation. They need to wear ear plugs while washing their hair during this time. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to cotton wool and gently plug the ear. Can my child go swimming?

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Do grommets bleed when they fall out?

Most patients don’t notice anything when the grommet comes out . There may be a slight pain or discomfort. Occasionally, the grommet comes out with an ear infection, in which case there may be discharge or bleeding from the ear.

Can you pop your ears with grommets?

Once grommets are inserted, no such problems should occur, as the ears will not need to pop (unless a grommet becomes blocked).

Do grommets improve speech?

Yes many children do improve after grommets are inserted but even with this improvement we also know that most of these children don’t develop “normal” speech and language skills without some assistance.

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