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My son will probably get tubes in his ears. What should I expect?

My son is 19 months and has had way too many ear infections (at least 12 since birth, at LEAST!) and is going to the ENT next week. My guess and his pediatricians guess is TUBES. THe only thing I worry about is the anesthesia. ((just a mom worry I guess)). What should I expect at his appointment, and what should I expect the surgery to be like and my son to act like the week after? Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by missbreezy214 at 4:48 PM on Apr. 24, 2010 in Kids' Health

Level 8 (212 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • My daughter has had several sets of tubes, in addition to several other more major surgeries. And maybe because we've been through the more major surgeries, tubes to us is really not a big deal any more.

    For us... Day of surgery: arrive at hospital and register. See nurse to take vitals and such. Speak to ENT before surgery. Speak to the anesthesiologist. Nurse brings liqud med that makes my DD giggle and get sleepy along with Tylenol. When DD is good and sleepy/goofy the nurse takes her back for the surgery. About 30 minutes later, DD comes back and is mostly asleep. After she wakes up a little more (usually 30 minutes) we give her juice and crackers. After another hour or so we are clear to go home.

    Unlike a major surgery, there really isn’t any “recovery” from getting ear tubes. Your son may be sleepy/

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 5:09 PM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • oh yeah... and at the Children's hospitals here in Georgia it is common practice for your child to be sleepy, but not asleep when the nurse takes them back to the ER. Generally parents are not in the room when the child is fully sedated.

    I also forgot to say that the ENT will come talk to you after the surgery is done.


    Answer by VeronicaLee at 5:12 PM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • oops! Just realized part of my first post was cut off.... Your son may be sleepy for the rest of the day after surgery but the next day he should bounce right back as if nothing happened at all. Good Luck!!


    Answer by VeronicaLee at 5:14 PM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • During the appointment, your doctor will go over your child's medical history and talk to you about the procedure. An anesthesiologist will also review your son's medical history. Your doctor may also require that blood be drawn for lab work before the surgery. Your child will not be allowed to eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the surgery. Before the surgery, your son will be given a sedative and will not remember anything until he is in the recovery room and may not even remember that. He should be able to go home 1-2 hours after the surgery. He may have a little pain in the days that follow, so give children's Tylenol. You will need to limit bathing to baths only as he should not get any water in his ears. Use ear plugs if necessary. You may also notice some drainage and you can use cotton to catch this and keep the ear canal dry. See the doctor if he has foul smelling drainage.

    Answer by neebug3766 at 5:17 PM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • Try taking him off milk. 90% of children's ear infections are caused by an allergy to milk. At least take the time to research it and try it before having him undergo a surgery he doesn't need.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:40 PM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • I agree w/ the milk post! His body is trying to tell u something. If u ignore it it will just find a new way come out(tonsilles, lung issues, sinus infections etc...). there is a good book that helped me understand it. "No More Amoxicillin: Preventing and Treating Ear and Respiratory Infections Without Antibiotics by Mary Ann Block "

    My oldest gets ear infections from dairy, and my 2nd gets them whenever he eats nuts

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:26 PM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • My 2 oldest boys had tubes. It was very quick - 20 minutes tops from the time they took him back until they were coming to get me to see him in recovery! They slept a little more than usual, longer naps that afternoon - but by the next day they were completely back to their typical behavior . . . only no more ear infections!

    Answer by missanc at 12:58 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • A couple of months ago I was on here asking the same thing! My daughter went in at 17 months, she was terrified of doctors at that point because of the countless ear infections. The ENT checked her ears, skipped the hearing test because she was so miserable in the office, and set the appointment for tubes. The day of surgery, my husband and I took her in there together, and we were nervous because she couldn't eat or drink that morning, but she did fine. There were toys and you can tell they're used to dealing with kids. They carried her off to surgery blowing bubbles the whole way, and she didn't even cry! It was crazy! Not 10 minutes later the doctor was back telling us that she had had fluid behind both ears (another infection, not a problem for the surgery, just further proof to me that she needed the tubes) and that she was all done. 5 minutes after that she was dozing in my arms. She went home, had lunch, had a good..

    Answer by EmilySusan at 10:43 AM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • ... nap (a little long, like 3.5 hours) and was her normal self after! She hasn't had an infection since and it has been 6 weeks. That's a record for us since her first infection at 9 months. It's really a good thing... Try not to worry, they will take good care...

    Oh, and guess what. The week after her surgery, she started TALKING. She would say one-syllable words before that, but it was like night and day. Within two weeks of her surgery, she was trying to say any word she heard, putting together sentences. So don't underestimate what those infections do to their hearing... Again, good luck.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 10:45 AM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • My 5 year old has had 5 sets of tubes and my 3 year old has had 3 sets. The surgery is no big deal at all and there really isnt any recovery (neither of my kids even needed tylenol after their surgeries) The anesthesia is just a gas and they are only under for MAYBE 20 minutes tops. There are MANY questions like this on here, you should search for "tubes" and see what we have all written before. But seriously... the surgery is super fast (you wouldnt even really have time to go to the bathroom) and there is no apparent pain afterwards.

    Answer by Jaydin_Makenna at 12:03 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

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