How you prepare

You'll receive instructions from the hospital on how to prepare your child for surgery to place ear tubes.

Information to provide may include:

  • All medications your child takes regularly
  • Your child's history or family history of adverse reactions to anesthetics
  • Known allergy or other negative reactions to medications, such as antibiotics

Questions to ask your doctor or the hospital staff:

  • When does my child need to start fasting?
  • What drugs can he or she take before surgery?
  • When should we arrive at the hospital?
  • Where do we need to check in?
  • What is the expected recovery time?
  • How will the anesthetic be administered — with a face mask, injection or intravenous (IV) line — and who will administer it?

Tips for helping your child prepare include:

  • Start talking about the hospital visit a few days before the procedure.
  • Explain that the procedure will help make his or her ears feel better or make it easier to hear.
  • Explain that a special medicine will help him or her sleep during the surgery.
  • Let your child pick out a favorite comfort toy, such as a blanket or stuffed animal, that you can take to the hospital.
  • Explain that you will be there during the procedure.
April 19, 2016
References
  1. Ear tubes. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/ear-tubes. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
  2. Ear infections in children. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/earinfections.aspx. Accessed Jan. 9, 2016.
  3. Longo DL, et al., eds. Sore throat, earache, and upper respiratory symptoms. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
  4. Questions to ask before your child's surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists. http://www.asahq.org/lifeline/anesthesia%20topics/questions%20to%20ask%20before%20your%20childs%20surgery. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
  5. Esherick JS, et al. Disease management. In: Current Practice Guidelines in Primary Care 2015. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
  6. Otitis media (secretory). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/middle-ear-and-tympanic-membrane-disorders/otitis-media-(secretory). Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.