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When do ear tubes come out?

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There are two main types of tubes:

It's rare, but sometimes tubes come out early. If that happens and fluid returns, your doctor may need to do the surgery again. Also, if they stay in too long, your doctor may have to remove them.

Once the tubes are out, the eardrum usually closes up on its own. If it doesn't, your doctor may do a procedure to fix it.

  • Short-term tubes go in for six to 18 months and usually fall out on their own.
  • Long-term tubes fall out on their own or could be taken out by a doctor.

From: Ear Tubes: What to Expect WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear tubes,” “Ear infection (middle ear).”

Unity Point Health: “Frequently Asked Questions About Ear Tubes.”

National Health Service: “Can I eat or drink before an operation?”

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital: “Preparing Your Child for Surgery.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on October 16, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear tubes,” “Ear infection (middle ear).”

Unity Point Health: “Frequently Asked Questions About Ear Tubes.”

National Health Service: “Can I eat or drink before an operation?”

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital: “Preparing Your Child for Surgery.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on October 16, 2018

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How do I prepare for ear tube surgery?

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