Insertion of Grommets - Discharge Advice for Adults

The anaesthetic is very light and the effects wear off very quickly. Sometimes there may be some vomiting from the anaesthetic or the effects of clearing the ear.

Please go straight home today and rest for 24 hours.

Hearing is better immediately.

The tube usually stays in place for between 6-18 months then extrude spontaneously. Sometimes the period is longer or shorter than this.

When the tube comes out, a hole will be left behind in the eardrum. This normally heals over the next few weeks. Rarely the hole will persist and may require a second operation at a later date to repair it.

The tube can also become blocked and the problems of infection and deafness will recur.

Discharge Advice

  • Pain Relief - Paracetamol (Panadol) can be given as directed on the label. The next dose can be given at


  • Eating/Drinking - You can eat and drink as you wish but avoid alcohol and rich food for 24 hrs.

  • Hair Washing - It may be more comfortable to wash hair in the shower, rather than submerging the head in the bath to rinse shampoo. Use cotton wool smeared with vaseline to keep the ears dry for the first 2 weeks.

  • Swimming - Swimming is allowed with grommets, however care should be taken not to “force” water up the nose or in the ears by diving or swimming deep under the water. Grommets do not readily admit water, but earplugs are a reasonable precaution, important in pools and spas, but less so in the sea. You should not swim if you have an actively discharging ear.

  • A clinic appointment will be made with you within 2 weeks of surgery.

If you have any problems please contact:

  • Your specialist on 09 6235644 or your GP

  • After Hours - 24 Hour Medical Centre

  • Emergency - Emergency Dept

Please ensure you have your discharge summary with you when seeking medical attention.

From a general anaesthetic point of view, please do not:

  • Drive a car as a safety precaution for yourself and other road users; also you may not be covered by insurance during these 24 hours.

  • Operate machinery; this includes some everyday items: e.g. kitchen appliances, lawnmowers.

  • Sign any legal documents or make important decisions.

  • Drink alcohol for 24 hours following your anaesthetic.

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