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Myringotomy with Tympanostomy Tube Insertion

Myringotomy with tympanostomy tube insertion is among the most common pediatric operative procedures and is indicated to provide ventilation of the middle ear.  Surgical incision in the tympanic membrane (myringotomy) is followed by tympanostomy tube insertion to prevent premature closure of the incision site.  The goal of the procedure is to reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of subsequent otitis media episodes and to prevent recurrence of middle ear effusions.

Soham Roy (University of Texas at Houston Medical School)
Thomas Mitchell (University of Texas at Houston Medical School)

Myringotomy with Tympanostomy Tube Insertion: The tympanic membrane is visualized with a microscope through a speculum placed in the external auditory canal. Cerumen may need to be removed to achieve sufficient visualization. The membrane is incised using a myringotomy knife - this incision is typically placed in the anterior-inferior quadrant of the tympanic membrane, although it may also be in the anterior-superior area. If an effusion is present, suction is employed to aspirate the effusion. Finally, a tympanostomy tube is introduced and the flange is inserted through the incision in the tympanic membrane. Saline or antibiotic drops may be instilled to conclude.
Recurrent or refractory acute otitis media, conductive hearing loss associated with middle ear effusion.
Vascular anomalies in the middle ear, intratympanic glomus tumor, prior radiation to ear (possible)
The patient is subject to local or general anesthesia. A microscope is focused on the external auditory meatus. A speculum is placed into the external auditory canal and cerumen is removed so that the tympanic membrane can be visualized.
Pneumatic otoscopy, audiology with tympanometry
The incision in the tympanic membrane should not be placed in the posterosuperior quadrant due to risk of injury to the bony ossicles and/or chorda tympani nerve. Incisions are commonly made in either anterior quadrant.
Tympanostomy tubes do not ¢ïïcure¢ïï otitis media, but they have been proven to reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of episodes for a majority of patients.
Tube otorrhea, tube occlusion, persistent tympanic membrane perforation, premature tube extrusion, tympanic membrane retraction pocket, tympanosclerosis, cholesteatoma
Tube otorrhea, tube occlusion, persistent tympanic membrane perforation, premature tube extrusion, tympanic membrane retraction pocket, tympanosclerosis, cholesteatoma
N/A
Rosenfeld RM, Schwartz SR, Pynnonen MA et al. Clinical practice guideline: tympanostomy tubes in children. Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 2013 July; 149(1):8-16

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