Grommet Insertion (Adult and Child)

Grommet insertion in adults and children is when a very small plastic tube is put in a hole in your eardrum to let air in and out of your ear and to keep it healthy.

What is a Grommet insertion

A grommet insertion is the placement of a tiny tube into your eardrum. Your ENT surgeon makes a tiny hole in your eardrum and inserts the grommet into the hole. You can expect it to stay in place for six to 12 months until it falls out as your ear gets better.

Why are grommets are inserted?

Grommets are inserted into the eardrums to allow air to pass in and out of the middle ear and through the eardrum. This keeps the air pressure on either side equal and prevents fluid from forming behind the eardrum, known as glue ear.

Glue ear usually lasts for a few months and then gets better on its own without treatment. It can however cause repeated ear infections and poor hearing and if left untreated for a long period of time, glue ear can sometimes cause hearing loss. Adults may have a grommet inserted if they have glue ear or recurrent ear infections.

In children, glue ear can also result in delayed speech and language development, slow school progress or behavioural problems. If a child is experiencing recurrent glue ear and ear infections, that may be causing these difficulties, then grommets will be recommended.

What are grommets used for?

Grommets are used to treat conditions that affect an adult’s or child’s middle ear including recurrent middle ear infections and glue ear. Glue ear, also known as otitis media with effusion, is a persistent build-up of fluid in the middle ear that can cause hearing problems. We don’t know exactly what causes glue ear. It is common in children but can also occur in adults.

By inserting a grommet, you have a small ventilation tube in your eardrum that allows air into your middle ear and this prevents a build-up of fluid.

What is the recovery process after a grommet insertion procedure

Most adults and children are able to go home the same day as their operation and return to their normal activities within a day or two.

Afterwards, the patient may have earache that can be relieved using paracetamol or ibuprofen. Often there is no pain.

You or your child should avoid getting dirt or soapy water into the ear.

Swimming can be started a couple of weeks after the operation, as long as the patient does not dive under the water.

We arrange a follow-up appointment for your surgeon to check the position of the grommets.

After a grommet is inserted, the fluid in your eardrum will usually clear up. As your eardrum heals, the grommet is naturally pushed out and eventually drops out by itself after six to 12 months. You may not notice when it drops out. Sometimes this doesn’t happen and the grommet may need to be removed by a small operation.

What is the cost of a grommet insertion procedure

The cost of grommet surgery will depend on whether it is for an adult or child and your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price for your grommet insertion procedure after your consultation with one of our expert ENT surgeons and following any required tests. This formal quote for your surgery will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers and this procedure is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your surgery.

offer a number of finance options to pay for your grommet insertion surgery, including: All-inclusive Total Care where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price delivers direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance, pay as you go and, medical finance loans.

Grommet insertion at Ramsay Health Care UK

At Ramsay Health Care UK, we rapidly assess your or your child’s ear problem and symptoms and recommend the best treatment. Our skilled ENT surgeons regularly perform grommet insertion. They have extensive experience in the care of children to minimise stress and anxiety and welcome parents to actively participate in their child’s care.

We offer fast access to consultations and surgery to relieve glue ear and recurrent ear infections that have been going on for three months or more. We understand parents will want the earliest treatment for their child so that they do not fall behind in their development and school work.

All Ramsay hospitals follow strict protocols to keep all of our adult and child patients and staff safe from infections, including Covid 19 whilst in hospital.

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