Tubes in Ears for 19 Month Old

Updated on January 10, 2007
Y.M. asks from Columbus, IN
20 answers

Hi. I took my 19 month old to the pediatrician to for the third week. He has had a non stop double ear infection...well we had a problem with him last year having one ear infection after another(he always gets it in both ears at the same time). All of the infections have been extremely hard to get rid of, lasting several weeks and then in a week or two he would get them again. Well today our doctor told us that if he has more than two more infections during the cold and flu season he will be refered to an ear, nost, and throat specialist to see about having tubes put in his ears.

My question is: If this is what ends up happening, what can we expect? I know it is a surgical procedure, but how extensive exactly? And what could we expect to see once they are in?

I know that I may be thinking a bit prematurely about this, but can't help to wonder. Any input is appreciated.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Well, we went back to the doctor yesterday and there is a slight improvement. I alos talked with my chiropractor(who sees collin for his reflux) and he told me that the same treatments for his relux could help with the ears and I need to lift his mattress to an angle again. Apparently, when you have relux and lay flat if you have any back flow from the reflux it goes to your ears so if he is laying flat at night there is no place for the fluid to go. So we will see... thanks again for all your input!

Featured Answers



answers from Lafayette on

My son had tubes put in at 18 mos old. He had many infections and we found out his ears weren't draining properly which also prevented him from hearing well. They put a mask on him to put him to sleep and within 20 minutes or so they were coming to get me and he was fine and ready to go. I noticed within a day all of a sudden he could hear and noises that didn't use to bother him that should have started to scare him so I think it has really helped him hear and he's only had one infection in the last year.

More Answers



answers from Charleston on

My 10 year old and my 6 year both had to have tubes put in. The tubes made life so much easier for them and me. The surg. is quick. The biggest thing the doctor worries about is the fact they have to put them to sleep. My 6 year old son had it done only once and we never had any more trouble but my daughter is on her third set of tubes. The tubes will fall out. When they do most kids do fine, but a few like my daughter has to get them again. It is easier when they are younger. I notice that my daughter (10 year old) notice strang noises and funny feelings in her ear this time. She has a lot of scarring in her ears from all the infections. They can lose their hearing if this matter ain't took care of. Earlier you get it done the better. I would push to get it done. I been through it with 2 of my children, and one having it done 3 times. I wish you the best with this matter.



answers from Louisville on

My daughter had tubes put into her ears around 2 years of age. It was extremely hard to give her to the nurse and walk away, but when they gave her back to me I swore that they took all the ugly out of her and gave me back an angel. I was not aware of how much the ear infections affected her behaviour. The surgery itself is not envasive. Once you see what they are going to do it will help with any feelings of anxiety. I can tell you tho, that my niece, sister and daughter had them and it is one of the most wonderful things that they can do quickly. We had to worry about her getting water in her ears and she was not able to swim (i could not afford the expensive ear plugs - only ones that work) so she was behind her peers in that regard. I wished I could have saved her 1+ years of pain from the infection and all the time she spent on antibiotics. We lived on Benadryl (helped drain the ears) to the point that at her young age she was taking a dose that would put most kids/small adults in a coma!! It is hard to give your child to someone that is going to put them under and was extremely difficult for me to stand there watching her go....but knowing the outcome now - I would do it again in a second.

Good luck and remember a little bit of pain will open a whole new world for you in a matter of one hour. You will be amazed at the difference in your child immediately.



answers from Muncie on

I Y.
I know what you are going though with your child. I have a daighter that had tubes put in her ears when she was four years old. It stopped the ear infections. They will put your child undre with a lite dose of med. and they the take about 30 to 40 min. Your child should fell 100% better in no time. The cost I could not tell you about. For when M\my child went though it we got help to cover it. She had to have her tonsels and anondes taken out at the same time. good luck and I wiil be thinking of you and your child.( please over look the spelling I have a had time with it)



answers from Indianapolis on


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.



answers from Indianapolis on

Hey Y.!
Both my boys have had tubes put in my oldest had his 1st set at 10 mo. and then a 2nd set at 2 w/ adnoids removed.The adnoids were so large they were holding the infection in the ear and not letting it drain. My youngest who will be 3 in a couple of weeks just got his 1st set a couple of weeks ago. It is an easy procedure (20-30 min tops) they will drain the fluid back in surgery when the tube goes in so you won't see a lot come out but it keeps the ear open so it can drain. I don't know who your ENT will be but I know ours I can call when Sam is getting a temp and a lot of drainage and they will call us in an antibiotic so we don't need to keep visiting over and over. It really is worth it! I would do it again for both boys in a heartbeat. Good Luck



answers from Lafayette on

Well, Y., let me start by saying welcome to the tube club...I'm on my way in there with my 14 month old. Keep in mind that you don't have to get the tubes. They can just keep treating ear infection after ear infection with antibiotics and call it a day. But if you choose this route, I see that you work for a small company and I'm not sure how much work they will let you miss before you get fired. My 8 year old had over 24 infections in her first 2 years. She was building immunity to the antibiotics. The doctor that she had refused to give her tubes insisting that she would out grow it by the time that she was 3. Consequently she did and suffered no permanent hear loss...someone must have been watching over here. However, she wound up having to go through speach therapy because she couldn't speak correctly as she could hear things right when her ears were infected. My 14 month old son has had about 6 ear infections in the last 6 months. I have a really great boss that is very understanding as I have reminded him that I was a mother long before I started working for him and would continue being a mother long after he's out of the picture, so I am in no danger of losing my job...I've proven to be a major asset to his company to begin with as I continue to work my asset off when I'm But it's a matter of I don't get child support and I have to work to support my kids and I haven't gotten a full paycheck in 6 months. And to top things off, he's already building tollerance to the antibiotics. So I opted for tubes. He just had his pre-opperation appointment tomorrow and if all goes well by Wednessday then he will get his tubes on the 5th. From what the doctor says his appointment will be 7:30 a.m. as he can't have anything to eat or drink (not even water)after midnight. He said the opperation will last about 15 minutes. The anestesiologist will use a gas to knock him out for that period of time...then after the surgery he will go into recovery where he will wake up from the gas and be under observation for a short period of time where they can make sure he's not having a bad reaction to the anesthetic and they can give him a little snack and be sure he can hold it down. I'm guessing that recovery should be about 2 hours. It's an out-patient procedure and he said that the child could be back in daycare that day, however, the daycare won't take him back until the next day because they're afraid to be responsible for him the day of surgery and I can't blame them for that because I don't know if he'll feel any different at that point. The tubes that they use these days are supposed to stay in for one to two years and then they fall out on their you don't have to take him in for another surgery to remove them. If all goes well then I will be able to tell you more come January 5th.



answers from Bloomington on

A little guy at our church used to have chronic ear infections that were resolved by chiropractic adjustments. I know of quite a few children for whom chiropractic has healed ear infections. Our chiropractor was even able to resolve my youngest babe's projectile vomiting, the vertebrae that was out of alignment in her back has a nerve that touches the stomach and was causing tummy issues.

I had tubes in my ears three times as a child that resulted in scar tissue, so I view tubes as a very last result... but it can be helpful at times.



answers from Fort Wayne on

Hi Y., My 20 month old daughter was having a problem with ear infections after ear infections and they ended up putting tubes in her ears the day after her first birthday. The procedure lasted maybe 10 minutes. They gave me ear drops to put in her ears for the next few days after that and within 2 hours of her surgery she was back to her normal self. My daughter's ear infections went away and she could breath better and everything. Her only problem is her ears rejected the tubes put in and I just found out today that she has got to go back in on the 24th of this month and have her tubes replaced with another type of tube and have her amnodes taken out because the ear nose and throat guy said thats what they do when they have to go back in and it is supposed to make her breath alot better because she's had nothing but a runny nose for the past 2 weeks and its supposed to stop that.



answers from Huntington on

I just went through this with my son. He is now 2, he was 23 months old at the time of his ear tube operation. If your son is only having ear tubes inserted, it wont be a big surgery. They will probably not even have to insert an IV. The ear surgery itself will take all of about 10 minutes once he goes in.

However, most ENT's now remove the adenoids as well. This combination surgery may take about 30 minutes and an IV is inserted. Your son will wake up, most likely, very upset and crying, but that is simply because he is disoriented from the anethesia. The IV will probably bug him too and make h im more upset, but it can be removed once he drinks something (which is easier said than done)

You son will get to come home the same day and if he is anything like my son, he will be back to his self and playing by the end of the day.

NOW... once the tubes are in, you have to try your best to keep water from getting in his ears. Since my daughter had her tubes put in, she has had only 1 infection (But she was 6 when hers were put in so she is better able to prevent water from getting in her ears). My son on the other hand has had 2 infections since the insertion of his tubes in October 06.

When the ear is infected you will see a thick, nasty looking discharge from the ear that is infected and it will require a ear drop antibiotic. The infections seem to be less bothersome after the surgery, I assume it is because the infection drains out rather than sits behind the ear drum. But I am not the DR in the family, its just he conclusion I have drawn.

If there is anything else you would like to know about the surgery or it's after math, fell free to contact me




answers from Fort Wayne on

Hello. My daughter had her second set of tubes in her ears in July 2006. The first surgery I was scared to death. To be honest with you it really not that bad. You go in and it takes no more than 30 mins to me her waking up was the worst. I will give you one bit of advice, when your child is in the bath watch the ears with the water. The tubes will fall out eventually but if you keep getting water out they will come out faster. If you have anymore questions let me know.



answers from Jacksonville on

Hi Y.,

I have a 26 year old, a 23 year old, a 9 year old and my baby 16 months old and grandchildren 6 years and 2 years old.

I went through something very simular with my baby girl who is now 16 months old. At 10 months old she had tubes put in her ears. It was the best thing I ever did!!! She has only had 1 ear infection since the tubes and is a totally different child. May I suggest Dr. Andrew Gould with Commonwealth ENT. He is very caring and will only do tubes if he thinks they will help. He had a great reputation and bedside manner with children. You can tell him I sent you. My name is N. H. and my baby is Cameo. Not too mention he did tubes in my 2 grandchildren (long story) Miles and Emma.

Best of Luck those ear infection really hurt,



answers from Terre Haute on

Hello, don't worry. My son had to have tubes in his ears at only 10 months. We went to the hospital in the morning, and we were back home by 2pm the same day. He had already had 11 ear infections by that time, and most were usually double ones. After the surgery he was a new baby. He is now 3 years old and has had 2 ear-infections since. Had I not seen his ears draining, I would not have even known that he had an infection, no more endless nights of sleep and pain. They have been wonderful for our family, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Dr. Roseff here locally was his doctor, and I was very happy with the way that things turned out.



answers from Kokomo on

My son had tubes put in his ears when he was 12 mos old. It is a minimally invasive surgery that doesn't take very long. Brayden hasn't had one ear infection since the placement of his tubes and he is now 3. The recovery for the surgery was very fast. He was up being his normal self the next day. Good luck and don't worry, it's a very common thing and everything will be alright.



answers from Lexington on

Hi Y.
Tubes are wonderful......Your child will be able to hear a lot better and be able to pronounce things better and wave bye bye to the painful nights of no sleep due to ear infections (unless the tubes fall out). Once the tubes are in they tell you not to emerge the ears in water, if they do not offer you a set of ear plugs ask your local drug store. My daughter had to be fit for hers, but for my son I use a cottonball big enough to cover the inner parts of his ear and cover his ear in vaseline (its waterproof and cheap!!!) Once his bath is over remove the cottonballs and wipe the ear clean with vaseline, soft ears and clean and Dry. Make sure you don't puch the cottonball into far and make sure to use enough vaseline to cover the whole inner ear and cotton ball. Procedure is simple our ENT doctor said it takes 15-20 minutes for the procedure, plus your son will love being able to eat nothing but popsicles once he awakes.

I have a 12 yr old daughter that has had 6 sets, 1st set at less than 24 months old, hers kept falling out. Finally on the 6th set they removed her adenoids as well. And after the 6th set we found another doctor who done the same procedure to my 5 year old son who had his first of tubes when he was younger and they fell out and he failed his hearing exam at school and I had noticed he would stop breathing for a second when he was sleeping he was a loud snorer, but he just recently had his tonsils, adenoids removed and had another set put in. Knock on wood it has been a great decision on our behalf to have it all done. Turns out his tonsils were enlarged. Not saying your child will have the same problem. My son and daughter did not seem to have much pain with their tubes they enjoyed the popsicles the most....... So no worries..... Funniest part is once you get hiim home and finishes sleeping the anesthia off, they are funny since they don't realize why they slept so much.

Good Luck and Happy New Year.



answers from Indianapolis on

I just want to make a suggestion to you if you don't mind. I have found out that most ear infections happen because the baby is allergic to cows milk. Try soy, they have it in Vinnilla, chocolate and origional forula... :-) It is delicious! My daughter is 5, she was preemie born at 2lbs 14oz and the hospital gave her milk based formula. She had problems with runny nose and cough (at 4lbs and 4 oz when she came home, thats not good!) so we switched to a non milkbased formula. and on through her life, she has been on natural foods. She wasn't on table food for 3 years. Only gerber, they have TV dinners and everything for 3 year olds! :-) She drinks 100% juice and soy milk and water and she has NEVER has an earache...

So, I hope my story helps you. And I hope it helps you with your boy and the delima of the ear surgery.. that is a scary thing.. just try something natural first, maybe that will hold off the surgery. Good luck!

Your friend and fellow mom,
L. Kay

P.S. Please, Let me know how it works out! :-)



answers from Evansville on

2 of my cousins had to have tubes in their ears when they were younger. From what I can remember, it is a very simple procedure to have them put in. I beleive it may be outpatient? Once they are in you have to be careful to keep water out of their ears. When bathing and swimming they always had to have cotton or ear plugs in to keep the water out. I remember them saying that they never could feel them, they never bothered them at all. I think that as they grow bigger the tubes just fall out on their own.
I have not dealt with them first hand, but maybe this little bit will help.



answers from Louisville on

Hi there. I used to work at an outpatient surgical center in Louisville. We shared a building with some of the best ENT doctors in the city and they did most of their outpatient surgeries at our facility. We did tons of tube procedures on babies/kids of all ages. It is about a 30 minute proceudre total from the time they take them to the OR until you are allowed to see them in Recovery. It is a very simple procedure and most kids are fine. There usually aren't any complications other than sometimes the tubes fall out before they need to and have to be reinserted. I believe that if they don't fall out when their purpose is done you also have to have them surgically removed, which is just as quick and easy. I personally think it is a great procedure, just make sure you choose a good ENT doctor. My kids were lucky enough not to have to have tubes, but the friends I have whose kids did have to get them say it made a HUGE difference. Hope I have helped, if you have any other questions, let me know.



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi Y.,

It was a blessing for my 15 month old to get tubes. It is a 20 minute procedure and it kept the fluid from building up and getting infected. The only thing we had to watch was getting water in her ears. I bought the wax type ear plugs that took no time to put in and take out. It was such a relief to get this procedure done.



answers from Indianapolis on

My son got tubes about two months ago (he was just about 1 year). I was completely freaked out, but the procedure was nothing! The only bad part was when he woke up from the anestisia and even that only lasted about ten minutes. He came home, took a two hour nap and was back to himself by the time he woke up. we haven't had any trips to his peditrician (which was usually a weekly visit) and he even started walking two days after the tubes went in. The Dr. said it might have something to do with his equilibrium and balance from all the pressure the ear infections were causing. I highly recommend the tubes, you and the baby will be so much happier when they are in. Good Luck!


Next question: Inserting Tubes in Ears (Ear Infection)