Otic drainage tubes are small cylinders that are inserted surgically into the eardrum to ventilate the middle ear and treat ear infections and the accumulation of fluid in the ear. These tubes are not permanent; however, in some cases the child may need a reinsertion of the tubes if the original pathology returns or other problems develop.
Reasons for reinserting the ear drainage tubes
The reattachment of an ear drainage tube in a child is usually done because the original pathology that required the first insertion has returned. The most common reason, both for the initial insertion and for the reinsertion of an otic drainage tube, is the development of otitis media with effusion. This type of middle ear infection involves the buildup of fluid inside the ear that does not respond to the medication and causes significant hearing loss in the affected ear. Recurrent acute otitis media, a pathology in which the middle ear infection returns after initial treatment, may also require reattachment of a drainage tube. If any of the two previous pathologies produce hearing problems or difficulty in speech due to hearing loss, this is an indicator that reinsertion is necessary.
Re-insertion and healing
The procedure for reinsertion of the otic drainage tubes in a child is relatively simple and has relatively few complications, both as a result of the initial insertion and re-insertion. In some cases, the healing time of reinsertion is longer than that of the first insertion. However, this is not always the case, and some children can actually heal more quickly after the first procedure.