What to expect

Grommet insertion is a minor procedure. Children are often unsettled for an hour or so when they return from theatre but recover very quickly. Adults not infrequently report a sensation of fullness or blockage that can last for some days. This is due to some minor bruising and swelling of the eardrum.

Pain Management

Panadol is usually sufficient.


Antibiotic eardrops may be prescribed in some cases, particularly if the ear is infected at the time of insertion.

Activities and Return to Work/School/Day-care

Adults who have had the procedure under local anaesthetic in my rooms can normally return to work the same day. Some however may experience mild dysequilibrium and need the day off.

Children and adults who have had a general anaesthetic must stay home from school or work for 24 hours. Adults must not drive, operate machinery or make legally binding decisions during this time.

Water precautions

I do like to keep the ears as dry as possible if grommets are in place. This decreases the chance of infection. I recommend earplugs for showering and earplugs with an ear wrap or swimming cap for swimming.

Swimming in the ocean does not require earplugs but avoid situations where water may enter the ear under pressure such as diving and surfing.

What to watch out for and when to contact me

Grommets are designed to ventilate the middle ear space. They are not drainage tubes. There may be some slight discharge from the ears in the first day or so but thereafter there should be no discharge other than normal wax.

If you notice a watery or mucoid discharge from the ear this almost certainly indicates infection and you will need to see either me or your GP for antibiotic eardrops.

Occasionally bleeding from the ear can occur in association with infection. This can look quite alarming but is not a serious problem and will resolve with antibiotic eardrops

If you have any concerns please call my rooms during office hours or my mobile number after hours. You will find it on the front of the card with your post op appointment details. If you can’t locate it please call St Andrews and they will contact me.


Rooms 8363 0677 St Andrews : 8408 2111