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Myringotomy is a surgical ENT procedure where a small cut is made in the eardrum to relieve pressure caused by the build-up of fluid or pus in the middle ear, or to take a sample of fluid for diagnosis, or to insert ear tubes (grommets).

I have a question about having a myringotomy

Why would I have a myringotomy?

A myringotomy is used to relieve the symptoms caused by any one of a number of different conditions. Symptoms may include hearing loss, pain, pressure in the ear and impaired balance.

What happens during a myringotomy?

During a myringotomy, a tiny incision is made in the eardrum to allow direct access to the middle ear space. At this point the middle ear can be drained of any fluid or pus to relieve pressure. If required, this fluid can be sent for analysis to diagnose the cause of any infection.

Sometimes, tiny ear ventilation tubes (or grommets) can be placed in the incision. These tubes remain in position after the operation to allow fluid to continue to drain out of the ear more easily, and to allow antibiotic drops to be placed directly into the middle ear space which makes their application more effective. 

Surgery will normally be carried out under a local anaesthetic. During the operation the surgeon will be using very small, precision instruments while looking at the area through a microscope.

Depending on the exact nature of the condition, slightly different operations may be required.

What should I expect after myringotomy?

If you’ve had a general anaesthetic, you won’t be able to drive for 24 hours after surgery. There may be some pain after the anaesthetic wears off and we’ll help relieve this with painkillers. Before you go home we’ll discuss any aftercare requirements or follow-up appointments with you. 

If you’ve had ear tubes (grommets) inserted, they normally work their way out of your eardrum naturally after six weeks to 18 months.

What is a grommet?

Consultant ENT Surgeon, Mr Henry Sharp, talks about myringotomy to insert ear tubes known as grommets (contains scenes of surgery).

Our ENT Consultants

Mr Balfour

Alistair Balfour

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Balfour's specialties include thyroid surgery, head and neck surgery and rhinology.

Mr Fu

Bertram Fu

ENT Consultant

Mr Fu is a qualified Rhinologist with a special interest in nasal and sinus conditions. His specialities include otolaryngology and rhinology.

Mr Sharp

Henry Sharp

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Sharp's specialties include rhinology and non-cosmetic nasal plastic surgery.

Mr Christopher Theokli

Christopher Theokli

Consultant ENT/Head and Neck Surgeon

Mr Theokli is an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist with over 10 years of experience working in this field.

Mr Vikram Dhar

Vikram Dhar

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Dhar is a specialist ENT Consultant at Benenden Hospital

Contact us about myringotomy or grommets

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.