An ear examination is performed under the microscope to evaluate presence of abnormalities in the ear canal and middle ear. Any debris in the ear canals is removed to allow inspection of the eardrum. If there is fluid in the middle ear (otitis media with effusion), a small cut is made on the eardrum (myringotomy) and a ventilation tube (grommet tube) is placed in the cut.
This procedure is needed if you have either or all of the following condition(s):
The procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia or under general anaesthesia. The type of anaesthesia depends on the patient’s tolerance level.
A microscope is used to inspect the ear canal. Any dirt/debris is cleaned out with microscopic instruments. The eardrum is inspected for abnormalities and the presence of fluid in the middle ear. A microscopic knife is used to make a small cut along the eardrum. If there is no fluid in the middle ear, the procedure is complete. If there is fluid, it is suctioned out and a ventilation tube (grommet tube) is placed in the opening. The tube has a hollow passage in the centre that allows air to enter the middle ear. The deep end of the tube sits in the middle ear and the other end sits in the ear canal. There will be no external cuts or scars.
Ventilation tubes are temporary and will eventually fall out on their own.
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