My son Matthew got his first set of tubes at the age of 15 months; and let me tell you they helped tremendously! He had infections so bad however that it did not stop them entirely; they only helped lessen the number he would get each year. His ENT explained this to me as such:
The eustachian tubes in his ears (and everyone's ears) that allow fluid to drain is usually at a 45 degree angle in adults. The problem with kids is that because they are growing and pretty little, their eustachian tubes sit at a 10 degree angle, so they don't drain well. In kids such as my son, there is enough fluid backed up that you end up with multiple infections all the time; they just never have the chance to drain well. Tubes will help, but the only thing that's going to stop recurrent infections is age, those eustachian tubes angling more as he gets a bit bigger, by the age of four or 5, sometimes 6.
He was right; by the time my son was about 3 1/2 and on his second set of tubes the infections haulted completely. The second set ejected about two weeks after they put them in, so I knew the hault was primarily because of his age. But honestly, they talk better once they get them, they feel better, it's very well worth it and I would do both sets again if needed.
I can tell you that surgery itself, you can expect your little one to be very discombobulated; anesthetic and kids just don't mix well. Until the anesthesia wears off, he'll basically cry and flip around and scream some. It sounds and looks a lot worse than it really is.
Make sure you get a good ENT, also known as Otolarangologists (nice mouthful), if you are in Indy I reccomend very highly Southside Otolarangology, Maximillian Newell along with David Fang and some others are AWESOME ENT's!! However that particular ENT group has places in just about every state, so wherever you are, look for them.