Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about the insertion of grommets. Learn how it works, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how it’s done view our animation below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, procedure and recovery.
What are grommets?
Grommets are tiny plastic ventilation tubes that are rimmed at the end. They’re inserted into the eardrum to equalise pressure in the ear.
Why is it done?
The middle ear is normally air-filled and is typically at the same pressure as the outer ear, on the other side of the ear drum, because air pressure is equalised via a small ventilation tube called the Eustachian Tube. When this tube is blocked or not working properly, patients can get problems with their eardrum or fluid can accumulate in the middle ear. Glue ear (thick fluid trapped in the middle ear) or recurrent middle ear infections are the most common reasons that grommets are inserted. Children are most often affected, but adults can be too.
Because grommets allow air in from the outside, enabling fluid and mucus to drain normally, they improve hearing immediately and help to prevent repeated ear infections.
Glue ear is a chronic ear condition, common in young children, in which thick mucus collects within the middle ear. Because the middle ear is normally filled with air instead of fluid, hearing is often affected.
Where is it done?
As a day patient in either a day surgery or hospital.
How long does it take?
Usually around 10-15 minutes.
- Your ear, nose and throat surgeon
CONSIDERING THE PROCEDURE
Treatments to consider before opting for grommets
Non-surgical options that may delay the need for grommets.
Results vs risks of the procedure
The benefits and potential complications of grommets.
Choosing a specialist
How to find a surgeon who specialises in your procedure.
Questions for the surgeon and anaesthetist
What you should be asking before going ahead with the procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
Pre-operative tests and how to prepare your child for grommet insertion.
The type of anaesthetic you may be offered.
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