HF 4255

Caring for Your Child After Myringotomy and Tube Placement

After Surgery

  1. Your child can go back to their normal routine when able. If in daycare, your child may return the day after the procedure.

  2. Diet: Your child may have some nausea after surgery. Start with clear liquids and move to solid food as the stomach feels better. If your child has nausea or vomiting, start over with clear liquids and move slowly.

  3. It is common for children to have a little drainage from the ear for 1 to 3days after surgery. The drainage maybe bloody, clear, or pus-like.

  4. Your child will be prescribed eardrops that should be given 3 times a day for 3 days, or as prescribed. Warm the drops in your hand or pocket for a few minutes. This may make the drops more comfortable for your child.

  5. Give Children’s Tylenol (acetaminophen), or ibuprofen, depending on your child’s age, for pain relief or fever. Follow the directions on the package.

  6. Most children do not need ear plugs. If your child has ear pain or drainage after swimming, please contact our clinic.


Your child will need a hearing test and ENT a follow-up visit 1-3 months after surgery at the Pediatric ENT Clinic. Then, your child will see ENT every 6 months until the tubes come out.

When to Call

Call your child’s clinic if you notice these symptoms within 7 days of surgery:

  • Constant nausea or vomiting.

  • Fever over 102° F.

  • Ear pain lasting more than 3 days.

  • Ear drainage after stopping the eardrops.

  • Your child is not healing as they should be.

Tube Care

It is normal for ears to drain from time to time while tubes are in place. This drainage tells us there is fluid in the middle ear space. This could cause infection if not treated. The drainage may be clear, yellow, white, green, brown, or bloody. Bloody drainage does not concern us any more than the other colors of drainage. We just treat it with a different type of ear drop.

Any time your child’s ears drain, they need to be treated with ear drops. The ENT clinic will manage all ear drainage once tubes are placed, so call or send us a MyChart message. You should not contact your child’s PCP or urgent care for ear drainage with ear tubes.

Once you have the ear drop medicine, you may treat your child’s ear drainage and reach out to us on the next business day to report it.

Please follow the steps on your "What to Do when Your Child Has Ear Drainage" flowchart.

Who to Call

Pediatric Otolaryngology Clinic

Weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
(608) 263-6420, option 3

After hours and weekends this number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the ENT doctor on call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

The toll-free number is 1-800-323-8942.