Pressure Equalization Tubes (PE Tubes)
PE tube placement is the most common surgery performed in the United States. It is a procedure where a small plastic or metal tube is placed within the tympanic membrane to equalize the pressure behind the eardrum and to allow for adequate drainage of any fluid within the middle ear space. PE tubes have been shown to decrease the frequency of ear infections while not compromising hearing function. The PE tubes last between six months to a year and will usually fall out spontaneously. Once the tubes become displaced they will not be replaced immediately. If the child develops symptoms of repeated infections or fluid build up after the tubes have become dislodged, at some point we may need to consider replacement of the tubes.
The procedure will last approximately ten to 15 minutes. In general, you should expect a child to return to normal within a few hours after surgery.