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
  1. Ear tubes. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
  2. Ear infections in children. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. 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. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
  4. Questions to ask before your child's surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists. 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. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
  6. Otitis media (secretory). Merck Manual Professional Version.,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/middle-ear-and-tympanic-membrane-disorders/otitis-media-(secretory). Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.