Insertion of Grommets - Discharge Advice for Children

Insertion of Grommets - Discharge Advice for Children

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 take your child straight home today and keep your child rested 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 - Your child can eat and drink as he/she wishes.

  • 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 in older children who ‘live’ underwater (important in pools and spas, but less so in the sea). Babies and most toddlers will not tolerate earplugs, and are at low risk even with swimming lessons. Children should not swim if they 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 09 623 5644 or GP

  • After Hours - 24 Hour Medical Centre

  • Emergency - Starship Hospital

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

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