37 answers

Ear Tube Surgery for 9 Month Old

i'd like some feedback from the parents who have gone ahead with ear tube surgery.
my daughter started getting ear infections in December and now this is her 5th ear infection since december. she will be 9 months next week. she's in daycare and no, we cannot take her out of daycare which of course is causing her to get colds which lead to ear infections. i've seen 2 ENT specialists now and talked to her regular pediatrician. all 3 recommend the tube surgery. i am very uneasy because she'll need to be put under for it. however this hopefully will mean less antibiotics because she'll has less or no ear infections after the tubes.

please post your responses to how your child fared after the tube insertion. most of the people i've spoken to had this done when their baby was a year or older. my girl seems so young for this but again, all 3 dr.'s seem to agree.


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

thank you all for sharing your experiences. here's what happened: i had a gut feeling that tube surgery was too hasty and not the right decision. she never screamed in pain from ear infections so did'nt appear to be actue. I'm of course not a specialist but my mother's instinct told me to postpone surgery. I talked to a few other mommies, reviewed your replies and took my daughter to a chiropracter/holistic dr. She was not out of alignment so no adjustments done to help release ear fluid.

He suggested using Congaplex to help kill the infection/virus and an infant probiotic to help put good bacteria back in her system and also garlic oil for her ears. Starting Saturday we did garlic oil drops in ears 3x day, Congaplex tablets crushed into her formula 1-2x day and the probiotic 1x day. Saw regular pediatrician yesterday for her 9 mo checkup and he said her ears looked FINE! no ear infection. cannot beleive it. he did think it could have cleared on its own but i think the oil and supplements really helped. she still has croup and he thought possible bronchiolitis but he did not want to prescribe any antibiotics since this is just a virus running its course. we're continuing w/ the vaporizer at night and saline spray in her nose mulitiple times a day indefinitely to clear her passages (per the ENT specialist)

so far so good! we're taking it 1 day at a time but i feel this way by far the way to go for my daughter

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My daughter had tubes put in at around 10 months, my son was a little younger. Like others have said, it's so fast, and it really does make the ear infections stop. I was worried too, but I was more worried about the long term effects of all those antibiotics. I say go for it.

1 mom found this helpful

I was terrified, but after several painful ear infections which were becoming resistant to antibiotics I had tubes put in my son’s ears when he was about 11 months old. By this time he had already experienced delays in speech because the built up fluid in his ears wasn’t allowing him to hear normally. After it was done we saw improvements right away and no more ear infections! They did fall out after a few years and he got another ear infection right away. More tubes and no problems. While it was scary to have him put under and taken back into an operation room where I couldn’t be with him, overall it was worth it to have him be free from the pain of ear infections and back on track developmentally for hearing and speech. It sound like you’ve done the homework and with three doc recommending tubes I would go for it. Good luck!

my dd had it at a year. I waited too long, and the ent basically told us that if we didnt have it she would have permanant hearing loss. So we did it. She was under for 15 minutes, cranky afterward, but we gave her a bottle right away, then by the afternoon she was normal. She slept a little more than usual, but that was it. She's 3 now and hasnt had any problems since!

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our daughter was 10.5 months when she had the surgery. She had her 4th ear infection that winter, and the consensus was to have it done.

She did great. She had the tubes put in first thing in the morning. She was a little cranky late morning, slept most of the afternoon and was herself by the evening. She was never a kid who appeared to be bothered by the ear infections - each time, we took her in because of serious drainage from her nose.

Unfortunately, she's a week away from her second birthday and has her 3rd ear infection this season. One tube has fallen out, and the other one is in her ear canal. We're hoping to make it through without another visit to the ENT, but we'd do it again in a heartbeat if it were recommended.

Your physician's recommendations are completely in line with the recommended policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the association for ENTs.

Good luck. It gave us several months of non-issues until winter rolled back around. Ironically, her brother who is almost 4 has had 1 ear infection ever. Different kids, different immune systems.

2 moms found this helpful

Ear infections are your child's engine light coming on to tell you there is a problem and it's not because he has a tube deficiency. Most babies/kids have ear infections because there is a sensitivity and the fluid behind the typanic membrane (ear drum) can not drain properly. I would do everything in my power to clear this up without surgery....and then the tubes usually coem out, as the body tries to rid it of a foreign object.

Here's my unsolicited advice, since you wanted advice on ear tubes, not preventing the ear infections.

1.) Try switching formulas or make your own NOT with soy or whey.
2.) Give a probitoic (my preference is PB8)
3.) Herbs for Kids - Echinacea/Goldenroot
4.) IF you are breastfeeding, eliminate dairy, corn (including corn syrup) and consider taking the PB8 yourself.
5.) get him adjusted by a pediatric chiropractor - they can get amazing results from taking the pressure off the upper cerival/neck area and allow the ears to drain. Our chiro adjusts the kids and their ears....and within 24 hours have no more infection. Don't ask me why, but it works like a charm.


2 moms found this helpful

You are very understandbly nervous because this is your baby! =0) Both of my children fought the ear infection fight as well. Our kitchen counter and fridge had a nonstop rotation of amoxicillin, omnicef, and augmentin. It was awful. We are a daycare family as well, so I understand very well. My son had his first set of tubes when he was 10 mths old. I too was very nervous about his age because our daughter was 3 when she had her surgery. However, we really trusted our ENT and knew it was for the best. The whole entire procedure (OH! And he also had his adenoids removed at the same time) from the time they took him away from us, to the time we got to go back to him was 30 minutes! And that was placing tubes and removing his enlarged adenoids! He was a little groggy and snuggly but smiling. We kept on top of his medicine and ear drops and he was totally fine by the next day. It was SOOOOO much easier than I ever imagined with such a small child. He wound up growing too quickly and that first set fell out only after 6 mths instead of the full 12 mths. So, we had to go and have a 2nd set of "long term" tubes placed. He's almost 4 and they are still there (as far as we know). But, I can tell you that we haven't had an ear infection since!! With our daughter, her ear infections were caused by her adenoids and enlarged tonsils, so he didn't opt to give her tubes. She had the removal surgery at age 3 and she too never had another one! And she's 6 now. So, trust those ENTs because this is what they do for a living. =0) Good luck to you and your little one. I promise you have antibiotic free days ahead!!! hugs!

2 moms found this helpful

I feel for you! My son started getting ear infections at 4 months old, so severe that the pediatrician said his hearing was muffled. The oral antibiotics weren't really clearing them up either. After his third one in a row, he was referred to an ENT specialist who recommended surgery immediately. I was so scared - at this point my baby was only 5 months old. We had it done through Children's Hospital. They explained the whole procedure to me - a children's anesthesiologist specialist would be standing right over my child with a mask the whole time, all vitals would be monitored constantly, and the procedure would only take about 10 minutes. I went for it, and the tubes have been a godsend! No more oral antibiotics and diaper rash - any new infections are just treated with ear drops. My son is now 20 months old, and his tubes are still in. He sails through his daycare colds now with no difficulties, and I am very VERY greatful that we got ear tubes when we did! He has no speech delay, which can easily occur due to all the temporary hearing loss caused by so many infections. In the past they would require ear plugs for even taking a bath, so that no water would get in the ears. They discovered that it was not necessary and changed the policy - I haven't had to use ear plugs at all. He can't feel the ear tubes at all - no irritation of any type. Every 6 months we go in for a checkup at the ENT office, and he's looked great each time.

The only out of the ordinary thing that happened during this whole process was the first set of ear plugs fell out a month and a half after we put them in, so we had to get another set put in when he was 7 months old. This is not common - the ear plugs usually stay in for 6 months to two years before falling out. The procedure was exactly the same the second time around and he came out of it just fine.

The scariest part was when I went to get my son after the procedure - at 5 months he was totally out of it for about 15 minutes, crying and not even able to nurse. I finally got him latched on and he calmed down, and by the time we left he was smiling at the nurses. The second time we went through the procedure he recovered almost immediately, nursed for a while, and then grinned and waved at the nurses as we were leaving. By the time we got home you couldn't even tell that he'd just been through a surgery.

My advice would be to go for it, even though it is totally scary. It's been well worth it.

1 mom found this helpful

My son had tubes put in his ears at only 10 months old. His ear infections were so bad the antibiotics weren't working anymore. I was a mess at the hospital. I cried my eyes out until the doctor came back out literally five minutes later. He was just fine :). He also came out of the anesthesia like nothing even happened. They monitered him for about an hour and we were on our way home. I could see a difference that same day. He was much happier :D.

1 mom found this helpful

That was my son, lots of ear infections as soon as he was off antibiotics, another one would show up. They were recommending tubes then we went to see a chiropractor (very skeptically I might add). It WORKED! Never had an ear infection again (and he had a really bad one that burst his ear drum before that!). Took him off milk and gave him soy and seeing the chiropractor regularly the dr.'s were amazed. It's worth it to try it.

1 mom found this helpful

My son has had ear tubes put in twice. I would reccommend it. I know it is scary. I cried as they took him from me. (He is my first and only child). I can't even tell you how fast the procedure was. We had pretty much just sat down in the waiting room and they came and got us and said it was done. It is an easy procedure---just gas anesthesia. The second time was harder since he was having his adenoids removed at the same time--then it was harder for me--it took longer since he had to go under general anesthesia. My son was about the age of your daughter when then first put them in.

1 mom found this helpful

I AM SO GLAD YOU POSTED THIS QUESTION!!! My son has been suffering from ear infections since he was 5 months old, and began daycare. He was getting sick all the time, and by the time he got better with antibiotics he'd get another infection within weeks. I felt as though I was living at our pediatrician’s office, in fact all the nurses there said that they were my son's Aunties....After about 3 infections; our pediatrician referred us to an ENT, who we have been working with for about 9-10 months now. I really didn't want to do the tubes as I am petrified of the anesthesia. So, we had him on the low dosage antibiotics once a day for 4 months...after 4 months, the ENT said to stop giving them to him and see how my son does. I made a joke as we were leaving that we'd see him within 10 days with another ear infection. I kid you not, that's exactly what happened! Two weeks ago my son got sick with a fever and cold, and after 3 days of his fever I took him to the pediatrician, and of course - EAR INFECTION!

I immediately called the ENT who said it was time to seriously consider the tubes, or else we'll just have to treat future infections with antibiotics. My husband and I really do not want our son growing up with antibiotics, so we have agreed with the procedure. We are having it done at Children's Hospital on Thursday. Our ENT does the procedure at a couple different local hospitals, including Children’s'. We decided on that hospital just in case something goes wrong, I wanted him where there is a lot of pediatrics around to care for our son (I’m paranoid).

I've been a total wreck every since we made the decision. I know this is the best course of action at this time for our son, and I'm not worried at all about the procedure. It’s the anesthesia that freaks me out.

My son is just about 21 months old now. I feel as though I gave it my best effort to avoid the tubes, but we have heard really good things about the procedure and how your life will improve dramatically once the tubes are in place and you have a healthy child again.

Thanks again for posting this question as there have been some really good feedback given from other mom’s that I found extremely helpful!
Good luck with your decision. I know how tough it is.

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