Toddler Ear Tubes Surgery

If you haven’t been following along with our little saga, Red has had 7 sets of ear infections over the last year (12 months), causing a referral to an ENT.  The ENT tried alternatives to surgery, and when Red proved either allergic or adverse to those methods, ear tubes surgery was scheduled for January 6th.  We were told nothing to eat or drink past midnight, and no medications but Tylenol in the 10 days prior to surgery, which we had no problem sticking to.  
Our surgeon schedules a few people at a time or surgery day, starting with the youngest early in the morning.  Since Red was the smallest, we were in the Pre-op room dressed and ready to go by 7am.  Surgery was scheduled for 7:30, but ended up being delayed by paperwork until 8.  Red was very cranky from hunger and an early morning wakeup call, but Daddy and I were there to hold him, play with toys and give some snuggles.  
Pre op for Red's Ear Tubes Surgery - Redhead Baby Mama
The anesthesiologist visited to confirm that there had been NO food or drink in the last 8 hours, what allergies Red had, and how he would begin the surgery procedure.  
Early morning anxiety and hunger is common for a toddler's ear tubes surgery - Redhead Baby Mama
 Take a look at the FOUR bracelets Red had to wear on his ankle! Two forms of ID, allergies, and a surgery ward label.  He really didn’t like wearing them, but thankfully that hospital plastic is some serious stuff and he gave up on tugging after a while.  
Multiple labels and bracelets ensure your child's procedure and medications are correct - Redhead Baby Mama
 Hubs and I waiting in the lobby, with a special code to track Red’s progress on a computer screen as well as a pager for conferencing afterwards.  The surgery was all of 4 minutes, and the nurse jokingly complained that it was so quick, she didn’t have time to complete her chart!  I was called into recovery with Red, where he had some special donut holes Daddy had picked up for breakfast.  (He gulped down 6 of them with a whole apple fritter… I think he was hungry…)  After 15 minutes of snuggling to make sure he was awake and no longer groggy, we moved into discharge with Daddy.  I was shocked at how awake and normal Red was.  No nausea, aching, complaining or unusual behavior.  We brought some of his favorite cartoons while we waiting for discharge papers and the release to go home.  
Discharge and Recovery means a snack, a drink, and snuggle time before going home - Redhead Baby Mama
 As soon as we hit the garage, Red ran to play with his toys, fought off his nap and otherwise was a perfectly normal kid with absolutely NO signs that he had surgery that morning.  I think Hubs and I were more nervous than Red, and it all turned out fine… except that we had to pay that deductible all in one go.  Ouch.   
Redhead Baby Mama
 If anyone is your family is having ear tubes surgery soon, know that it is a very simple, very short surgical procedure, and be sure to ask your doctor and nurses as many questions as you can think of.  Follow written and verbal directions completely, and take all your papers home with you! If you have a question that I might be able to help with, leave one in the comments below!  Have your kids ever had ear tubes put in? 
Discharge papers and medication instructions - Redhead Baby Mama


  1. says

    I’m glad all went well – and quickly! The eye surgeries for Amelia were about 30-50 minutes. That can feel really long when it’s your baby! Hoping this helps his ear issues now. Congrats on getting it over with!

  2. says

    Oh gosh! I would be so freaked out about my kid having surgery. Heck I freaked out when I had to have surgery! I’m so glad things went well and that he’s recovered well :) Here’s to no more ear infections!

  3. says

    My little guy doesn’t bounce back quite so easily, but it’s never just ear tubes, KWIM? He’s had ear tubes + eye stints + hernia repair, or ear tubes + eye stints + hypospadius repair, etc, etc. We tag team the surgeons as much as possible, so that he’s not going under anesthesia too much.

  4. says

    Aww, the poor guy. He looked so scared until daddy took out the iPad! I hope everything works out okay. My son almost had tubes put in, but fortunately he grew out of having ear infections before we had to make that choice.

  5. says

    Poor guy, looked so stressed out to begin with but thankfully the surgery was super quick (I am so surprised how quick it is, to be honest!) and he had no complications afterwards. Hopefully this will make for an easier year for him and yourselves!

  6. says

    I almost had to have ear tubes put in when I was a baby but as soon as they went to schedule the surgery, my ear infections cleared up! Back then it was a little more complicated, so my Dr. told my mom to hold off for a bit. I’m glad it’s not as big of a deal now :)

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