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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Replacement Ear Tubes in Adults

10/11/2010

Question:

hello, I am a 48yo FM, I was treated for NPC some yrs ago at the Clinic, the radiation took its toll on my hearing. Since the radiation treatment, I have had many tubes replaced in both ears, is there a surgery to keep the tubes open?? it seems the tube option is the only method at this time. My body seems to keep kicking the tubes out like every 9 months & to get the tubes reinserted..ouch!! thnx

Answer:

Unfortunately, replacing tubes remains the best option for many patient who are post-radiotherapy.

There are several varieties of tubes that can be placed in the eardrum with varying durations/lifespans.

Sometimes tubes are placed under anesthesia for patient comfort for that has the trade off of requiring anesthesia and the small risks associated with that.

Typically, tubes can be placed with a combination of tetracaine ear drops and phenol to very comfortably numb the eardrum for tube placement in the office.

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Response by:

Daniel   Choo, MD Daniel Choo, MD
Associate Professor and Director, Division of Otology/Neurotology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati