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Glue ear is a common condition where fluid collects in the middle ear behind the eardrum.

It can cause deafness and repeated earache or infections, resulting in discharge from the ear.

What happens during grommet insertion?

Grommet insertion is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes about twenty minutes.

Your surgeon will make a small hole in the eardrum and remove the fluid by suction. They will then place a plastic or metal grommet in the hole.

After grommet insertion

You should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. You may notice a significant improvement in your hearing.

Other than swimming, you should be able to return to normal activities after 24 hours.

The grommet will fall out of your ear by itself - after nine to twelve months for the plastic type and after about two years for the metal type.

Most patients make a good recovery from grommet insertion. As with any surgery there can be complications such as:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding

Specific complications of grommet insertion:

  • Fluid leaking from the ear
  • Ear discharge
  • Small hole left in the ear drum after the grommet falls out
  • Repeated build-up of fluid in the middle ear

Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concern you have with your surgeon?

Cambridge Hospital

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
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