• You/your child has had a grommet/s inserted. This commonly performed procedure is typically done as a day surgery. It can be done in combination with other procedures.
  • A grommet is a small plastic tube that sits in the eardrum to allow air into the middle ear.


Immediately post-op:

  • There may be some pain
  • Topical local anaesthetic drops are placed in the ear during surgery to reduce post-operative pain.
  • Paracetamol should help to settle any further pain
  • Pain should settle over the first 24 hours
  • There is occasionally some bloody discharge from the ear. This is not a cause for concern, and will typically settle down within the next few days.
  • You will be given instructions as to whether post-operative topical antibiotic drops in the ear are required. This is a decision made at the time of operation by the surgeon, depending on the findings.


Going home:

  • Children with grommets require protection of their ears when the head is going to be submerged greater than 60cm underwater: eg when swimming/diving. In this case ear plugs and a swimming cap or Velcro head band should be worn.
  • There are many different ear plugs available including blu tack, cotton wool with Vaseline covering, docs proplugs, or properly fitted plugs made at an audiologists from a mould.
  • At home in the shower or bath blu tack should be satisfactory, however for swimming lessons or prolonged water submersion docs proplugs or earplugs from an audiologist would be better.
  • There is increased risk of developing ear infection with exposure to water from heated pools or with soapy water.
  • Typically your child will have post-op follow up appointment at 2-6 weeks. Thereafter review will occur in 6-9 months.
  • Further follow up will depend on the status of the grommets and the hearing. For routine grommet insertion, the grommets typically last for 6 – 9 months. However, in some cases they can come out earlier, or stay in longer.
  • Ear infections can still occur whilst grommets are in the ear. This will cause a discharge from the ear and/or pain and fevers. When this occurs, we recommend seeing your local doctor, and if appropriate, commencing TOPICAL antibiotic ear drops eg ciloxan.