HF 6070

Caring for Your Child After Ear Tube Removal and Patch Placement

This handout will tell you how to care for your child at home after ear tube removal and patch replacement.

What to Expect After Surgery

Your child may have nausea from the anesthesia.


Start your child on clear liquids and slowly move to solid food. If your child has nausea or vomiting, start over with clear liquids and slowly advance.


Give Children’s Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen as needed for pain relief or fever. Follow the directions on the package.

Wound Care

Keep ears dry with ear putty as instructed in discharge paperwork. Ear drops may be prescribed. Your doctor will let you know the dose


  • Your child can take part in normal activity, as they are able. If your child is in daycare, they may return the day after the procedure.

  • Do not blow the nose for 1 week. Wipe the nose with a tissue rather than blowing it.

  • No airplane travel until you talk to the ENT doctor.

  • Your child should keep their mouth open when sneezing or coughing for one month. Doing this will reduce the amount of pressure placed on the healing eardrum.

Follow Up

Your child will be scheduled for a follow-up visit in about 1-6 months after the tube removal.

When to Call

  • Nausea or vomiting that won’t go away

  • Ear drainage or pain

  • Your child doesn’t seem to be healing as well as you think they should

  • Fever over 102°F

Who to Call

If your child was seen for their pre-op visit in the Pediatric ENT Clinic in Madison at the American Family Children’s Hospital, please call (608) 263-6420, option 3, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

If your child was seen for their pre-op visit in the Pediatric ENT Clinic in Rockford at the Women and Children’s Hospital, please call (779) 696-8499, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

After hours, weekends or holidays, please call the Madison/American Family Children’s Hospital phone number. This number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the otolaryngology (ENT) doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

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