While you may not have a choice of anaesthetist, you may be able to discuss the type of anaesthesia and post-op pain relief that will suit you best.

Your anaesthetist is responsible for pre-medication before the procedure, your anaesthesia and wellbeing during the procedure and post-operative pain relief.

Ask your surgeon if you can meet with the anaesthetist before the day of the procedure. This way you won’t be hurried or stressed, and can be involved in the planning.

For grommet insertion, a general anaesthetic is normally used. Your general health, pre-existing medical conditions, age and the anaesthetist’s preferences will affect the choices available.

If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with anaesthesia.

Even though a child may become frightened when their anaesthetic is given, after the operation they usually don’t remember anything.


You may be offered medication to prevent nausea, reduce stomach acid or help you relax. If you think you’ll be feeling anxious before the procedure, ask if you can have something to relax you.

General anaesthetic

You’ll be unconscious for the procedure and a tube will be inserted into your throat to help you breathe. General anaesthetics can cause post-operative nausea and vomiting.

For an adult, a grommet can be inserted using local anaesthetic but a general anaesthetic may be given.

Pain relief after the procedure

After the procedure you may be given pain relief prescribed by the anaesthetist.

Pills, tablets or liquids can be given at regular times, or when pain starts to bother you. Grommet insertion isn’t usually painful. However, children may complain that loud noises hurt their ears as they’ll be hearing things more loudly then before the operation.

Print this page to take when you meet with the surgeon and anaesthetist, so you can make sure all your questions are answered.

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of the procedure.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.