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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1996 Jan;34(1-2):87-99.

Complications of tympanostomy tubes in an inner city clinic population.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, NY 10016, USA.


While both prophylactic antibiotics and tympanostomy tube insertion have a role in the treatment of recurrent acute otitis media (AOM) and otitis media with effusion (OME) in children previous work has shown that patients in our urban clinic are not compliant with prophylactic antibiotics. Concerned about the potential for decreased compliance in a non-compliant population, we performed a retrospective review to assess the incidence of complications from the insertion of tympanostomy tubes in the same pediatric clinic population. A total of 391 tubes were placed in 165 patients. Follow-up ranged from 0-49.4 months with a mean of 21.3 months. Three ears (1.14%) had persistent perforations. Tympanosclerosis was found in 30 ears (11.1%). No ear showed a chronic retraction or cholesteatoma. Six ears (1.70%) developed postoperative otorrhea. Thirty-five patients had at least one episode of otorrhea outside of the perioperative period, and a total of 60 episodes (19.6% of ears) occurred during the study period. The mean pure tone average prior to tube placement was 25.0 dB, with tubes in place was 2.44 dB and after the last set of tubes had extruded was 6.97 dB. Our study shows that the incidence of complications of tympanostomy tubes was minimal in our inner city clinic population.

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