What is Myringotomy with Grommet Insertion Surgery

myringotomy with grommet insertion surgery by Dr. Shree Rao

What is myringotomy?

Myringotomy is a surgery performed by an ENT surgeon on the eardrum to drain the fluid present behind the eardrum. ENT specialists recommend this surgery to treat fluid in the ear in children and adults.

Why is myringotomy with grommet insertion performed?

Doctors recommend myringotomy with grommet insertion if you are suffering from:

  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Pain in ear
  • Muffled hearing or hearing problems
  • Speech delays in children
  • Acute otitis media
  • Ear barotrauma

How is myringotomy with grommet insertion surgery performed?

Myringotomy with grommet insertion is a surgical treatment to clean the fluid present in the ear. Doctors suggest a few diagnostic tests like: blood test, tympanogram, hearing test and others which are needed. The surgical procedure starts with cleaning and checking the infected ear with a small microscope. The surgery requires general anaesthesia. A tiny incision is made on the eardrum to drain the fluid in the middle ear. An incision is created by using a surgical needle. In some conditions, doctors insert an ear tube or grommet on the eardrum to stabilise the pressure. An ear tube or grommet is also called myringotomy tube or tympanostomy tube that balances the pressure difference between the middle and outer ear. Sutures are not required in this method. The tube will automatically extrude from the ear, and dressing is done to the ear after the surgery. Myringotomy surgery completes in 30 – 60 minutes. If the myringotomy tube is not extruded, consult your ENT specialist in 3-4 weeks.

LAM, or Laser Assisted Myringotomy, is a cutting-edge, less intrusive method for treating myringotomy. A laser incision is used to drain the fluid in LAM. This procedure is very convenient for performing surgery in an outpatient method using local anaesthesia. The remaining procedure is similar to the normal method but takes more time to heal than the advanced method.


Doctors prescribe medication to prevent infections. Usually, the medication includes antibiotics, painkillers, antihistamines, corticosteroids(if necessary), paracetamol, antacids etc.

How will myringotomy grommet surgery will benefit your ear?

Myringotomy with grommet insertion surgery has many benefits:

  • Ear infections are reduced
  • Restores hearing
  • Relieves ear pain
  • Improves balance and maintains ear pressure
  • Speech and language in children will improve

What are the Risks involved in the myringotomy grommet surgery?

Apart from the risk of anaesthesia, the risks involved in the myringotomy surgery are limited, and they are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infections in the middle ear
  • Recurrent ear drainage
  • Injury to the ear canal or outer ear
  • Delay in Eardrum healing
  • Sclerosis of eardrum
  • In rare conditions, secondary infections arise

Myringotomy recovery time in children and adults?

Once the surgery is completed and anaesthesia wears off, doctors will verify the vitals. If the vitals are stable, adults are sent home and resume their activities in 1-2 days.
Children need to spend 1-2 days in the hospital, and doctors check for postoperative complications. After careful examination of the ear, if everything is fine, kids are sent home and can start their schooling as usual.

Precautions to follow after the surgery?

The general precautions followed after the surgery for better and speedy recovery:

  • Post-surgery patients should not take a shower, swim or any water activities for at least 7 days
  • Physical activities like weight lifting, running and jogging should be stopped for 1-2 weeks
  • Skip flight travel for 1-2 weeks
  • Do not try to pop your ears after the surgery

What is the difference between myringotomy and tympanostomy?

Myringotomy surgery removes the fluid in the middle ear by incision to the ear. In the Tympanostomy procedure, an ear tube is placed during myringotomy to drain the fluid. The ear tube stabilises the pressure in the middle and inner ear and prevents recurring infections.


Myringotomy is a simple operation for removing fluid from the middle ear. Recurrent infections, fluid buildup, or hearing loss are found in rare cases. Myringotomy performed by an experienced ENT specialist will mitigate the risks involved.

Hearing ability will be impacted by fluid in the inner ear and pressure differences between the middle and inner ear. The fluid will be removed and the pressure in the middle and inner ear will be equalised with myringotomy surgery. After the surgery sound waves are conducted better and hearing is improved gradually.

No, myringotomy does not cause hearing loss. With myringotomy surgery, you will have better hearing.

Myringotomy grommet surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, so patients do not feel pain during the surgery. Post surgery, if pain persists antihistamines and painkillers are advised to relieve the pain.

Myringotomy may lead to serious otitis media, internal ear infections, formation of a hole in the eardrum, hardening of the eardrum and infection in the eustachian tube.


Dr. Shree Cuddapah Rao is acclaimed as one of the best pediatric ENT specialists in Hyderabad. With 10+ years of deep domain experience in the field of ENT, she is the director at Dr. Rao’s ENT Super Specialty Hospital. She underwent specialized training in Rhinoplasty / Facial Plastic surgery at Singapore General Hospital, Singapore. She also underwent advanced training in cochlear implant surgery under Padmashri Dr. Milind V Kirtane and had a Fellowship in a cochlear implant. Having performed over 200 successful cochlear implants for patients worldwide, Dr. Shree Cuddapah Rao is also the recipient of several prestigious accolades in the domain of ENT.

About Dr. Shree C Rao


Dr. Shree Cuddapah Rao, an ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) surgeon, is a superspecialist microsurgeon in Otology and Cochlear implant surgeries. With 10+ years of deep domain experience in medical and surgical ENT, she is quite fittingly, the Head of the Cochlear Implant team at Dr. Rao’s ENT

Get an appointment

More Posts

When to Consider Having a Hearing Test

When to Consider Having a Hearing Test

Introduction to Hearing TestTable of contents1 Introduction to Hearing Test2 1. Changes in Hearing Perception2.0.1 2. Ringing or Buzzing Sensation (Tinnitus)2.0.2 3. Age-Related Factors2.0.3 4.

Unilateral Hearing Loss

Living with Unilateral Hearing Loss

Understanding Unilateral Hearing LossTable of contents1 Understanding Unilateral Hearing Loss2 Causes and Risk Factors2.0.1 Diagnosis and Assessment2.0.2 Impact on Daily Life2.0.3 Treatment and Management Options3

Occupational Hearing Loss

The Impact of Occupational Hearing Loss

Introduction to Occupational Hearing LossTable of contents1 Introduction to Occupational Hearing Loss2 Understanding Occupational Noise Exposure2.0.1 Causes and Risk Factors for Occupational Hearing Loss2.0.2 Types