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Ear Tubes

Insert of ear tubes is a very common procedure for babies with PRS.  There are two types, the standard tubes and T-tubes.  The standard tubes can fall out at any point.  The purpose of the tubes is to keep the Eustachian tube open, free from fluid and clear.  They will often "group" this procedure with any other procedure your baby needs to have done.  Sometimes, the provider will prescribe drops for several days following the procedure. 

This site provides a very detailed "tour" of what happens during the surgery, preparation and more.  http://www.petube.org/Hbw/procedure.asp

The surgery is very short, expect drainage from the ears, use the cotton balls to cover the ear opening for about a day after the surgery.   Use ear putty earplugs to cover the ear opening, not to plug the opening, just to cover it, every time the child will be near water.  This requires some amount of preparation and planning.  You will need to make sure that you have plenty of ear plugs handy.  We prefer the colored (neon orange) ones for children.  They're easy to find when they flop out in the bathtub.  Covering the child's ear canal will prevent any water from entering the tube and thereby entering the child's inner ear, which can be harmful.

T-tubes are usually used after standard tubes have been used and fallen out.  They are actually fastened in the ear.  My son had these put in when he was a toddler.  They ended up taking them out, because they were causing infection.

Each child is different and you need to question your child's medical care team to make sure you understand the purpose, any risks and follow up care for procedures.


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