Insertion of Grommets

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
January 25, 2018
Laryngoscopy / Microlaryngoscopy
January 25, 2018

Insertion of Grommets

What is insertion of grommets?

A grommet is a tube which is inserted through the tympanic membrane of the ear for drainage of the middle ear.

My anaesthetic

This procedure will require an anaesthetic. See About your anaesthetic information sheet for information about anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, discuss these with your doctor.

If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure. They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:
  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room.
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.
Specific risks:
  • Ear infection with discharge of pus through the grommets to the outside. This is usually treated with antibiotics. Rarely the discharge will not settle until the grommet needs to be removed.
  • Hole in the eardrum. After the grommet falls out, the hole in the eardrum usually heals up. In 1 in 20 to 1 in 30 patients the hole in the eardrum does not heal and another operation is required to repair the hole.
  • Grommets have to be replaced. This may be required if the grommets have fallen out, the problem comes back or if the grommets fall out earlier than usual.
  • Scarring of the eardrum. A thin, weakened eardrum or a thickened eardrum may develop. This usually does not interfere with hearing unless it is very severe.
  • Failure to improve hearing. There may be a further problem such as cholesteatoma in the middle ear or inner ear causing or contributing to the hearing loss, worse hearing or dead ear.

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