Caring for Your Child after an Adenoidectomy,
Myringotomy, and Tube Placement
What is an Adenoidectomy and
Myringotomy and Tube Placement?
Your child’s surgery is designed to help
with chronic ear problems. The adenoid is
located in the back of the nose behind the
palate. It can cause problems with
Eustachian Tube function. The Eustachian
Tube helps equalize the pressure and
removes fluid from the middle ear space
behind the eardrum. It is what allows you to
“pop” your ears when you yawn or swallow
in an elevator or airplane. Removing the
adenoid helps the Eustachian Tube function
more normally. Myringotomy and pressure
equalization tube placement creates a
temporary artificial Eustachian Tube in the
eardrum. This allows for immediate
equalization of pressure and also for any
fluid in the ear to dry up.
What to Expect
ξ Your child will have a sore throat for
up to a week.
ξ A small amount of bloody drainage
from the nose is common.
ξ A low-grade fever is normal, up to
102 θ F regardless of the method used
to take a temperature, for up to 7
days after surgery.
ξ Neck pain is common for up to 10
days. A warm, not hot, heating pad;
ξ Soaking in a warm bath; or
massaging the neck may help
ξ Foul-smelling breath is common for
2 to 3 weeks.
ξ Your child may have a nasal-
sounding voice and/or snore for
awhile. This will go away in time.
If it goes on longer than 3 months,
please tell your doctor.
ξ Restless, disturbed sleep or
nightmares may occur for a couple of
ξ It is common for children to have
slight drainage from the ear for 1 to 3
days. The drainage may be bloody,
clear, or pus-like.
ξ Ear drops are prescribed to be given
3 times a day for 3 days. The drops
may be more comfortable for your
child if you hold the bottle under
warm tap water first.
What to Do
ξ Your child may have an upset
stomach from the anesthesia. Start
with clear liquids and go to solid
food as your child can handle it. If
vomiting, start over with clear
ξ Have your child drink a lot of fluids.
Offer liquids often, even if they are
ξ Your doctor may suggest giving
Acetaminophen (Tylenol ),
together with Ibuprofen. You will
be told of the dosages for both
medicines on the day of surgery.
ξ Your child may go back to school or
daycare in 2 to 5 days if well enough
and may take part in normal routines
when feeling better.
ξ Ear plugs are not needed for most
children with tympanostomy tubes.
There are some situations where
your provider may recommend use
of ear plugs. For example, if your
child has ear pain with swimming or
develops ear drainage after
swimming, ear plugs may be used.
Your child will be scheduled for a post op
follow-up visit at the Pediatric ENT clinic 1-
3 months after surgery.
When to Call Your Child’s Doctor or
ξ Nausea and vomiting that doesn’t go
ξ A fever over 102 θ regardless of the
method used to take a temperature.
ξ Bleeding from the nose or mouth that
ξ Discomfort that doesn’t go away
after Tylenol and ibuprofen are
ξ Ear pain that goes on for more than 3
ξ Ear drainage that continues after the
postoperative ear drops stop
ξ If you think your child is not
recovering as expected.
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 or bloody.
Call the clinic number listed below to report
the first time your child’s ear(s) have
drainage. At that time the nursing staff will
start the process for your child to take
therapeutic ear drops. They will ask for
your pharmacy’s name and set up refills for
6 months. You will be given specific
directions for how many drops to give, how
many times a day, and how long to give ear
You may treat your child’s ear drainage
without calling the clinic once you have the
prescription for ear drops. Call the clinic
however, it the drainage does not stop within
the time frame on the directions for ear
If you have any questions or concerns when
at home please call:
Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT) Clinic
(608) 265-7760 weekdays from 8:30 am to
After hours and weekends, this number will
give you the paging operator. Ask for the
Otolaryngology (ENT) doctor on call. Give
the operator your name and phone number
with the area code. The doctor will call you
If outside of Madison, call toll-free at: 1-
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 10/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5849