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A grommet is a small, plastic tube that sits in the eardrum. It allows air to pass in and out of the ear. This helps to stop the production of fluid that causes glue ear.
Grommets are often inserted for a condition called glue ear. Glue ear is when there is fluid behind the ear drum. It commonly occurs in children but does occur in adults too. This doesn’t always need treating and can clear up by itself. Sometimes glue ear can cause hearing problems or repeated ear infections. If glue ear is causing problems, grommet surgery may be recommended. There are also other conditions where grommet surgery may be recommended which your doctor will discuss with you.
Grommets fall out by themselves and do not need to be removed. It varies from person to person but they usually fall out after 6-18 months.
Before the day of your operation you will be seen at pre-assessment clinic. You will also be screened for MRSA with swabs from your throat/nose/armpit or groin. If you have other medical problems, you might also have an appointment arranged for you with an anaesthetist (the doctor that puts you to sleep for the operation).
You will be asked to stop eating six hours before coming into hospital and notto drink anything otherthan clearfluids up to two hours before coming into hospital. Clear fluids are water, black tea and black coffee.
On the day of surgery you will be admitted to a ward where nursing staff will go through some paper work with you. You will be seen by a member of the surgical team. They will go through the operation and consent form with you. You will also be seen by an anaethetist who will discuss how you will be put to sleep and answer any questions you may have about this. After your operation, you will come back to the ward to recover. After a few hours, once you have fully recovered, you will be able to go home.
Grommet surgery is usually performed under a general anaesthetic where you will be asleep but it can be done awake with a local anaesthetic too. A small opening is made in the ear drum which allows the grommet to be inserted.
The operation is performed down the ear canal, using a microscope. There will be no cuts or scars to see on the outside of the ear.
Grommets are usually a day case procedure, meaning you will go home the same day.
Any operation will have some risks, however most people recover very well from grommet surgery.
Your doctor will discuss the risks of the surgery with you on the day of operation and any specific risks in your particular case.
If you have a general anaesthetic you will need one day off work. If you have the procedure done under local anaesthetic you can return to work the next day.
You will receive a letter with your follow up appointment in the post. Typically this is six to eight weeks after the operation but can vary.
The Princess Royal Hospital (Ansty Ward) 01444 441881 extension 8240.
Mr. Watts’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 4821.
Mr. Mcgilligan’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 7698.
Mr.O’Connell’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 4802.
Mr. Harries’ secretary 01273 696955 extension 4802.
Mr.Saunders’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 4821.
Mr. Das’s secretary 01444 441881 extension 8372.
Mr.Pelser’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 4812.
Mr. Lew-Gor’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 4812.
Mr. Weighill’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 4812.
Mr. Desai’s secretary 01273 696955 extension 7698.
Appointment booking centre 0300 303 8360.
If you have vision, mobility or access issues please contact the Hickstead Pre-operative Assessment Unit on 01444 441881 extension 5963 for further advice or information.
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Review Date: October 2022