Ear & Balance

Myringotomy and Grommet Tube Insertion: Understanding the Procedure and Its Benefits

August 4, 2023
Myringotomy and Grommet Tube Insertion Understanding the Procedure and Its Benefits

If you or your loved ones are experiencing recurring ear infections or persistent middle ear fluid buildup, you may have come across the terms “myringotomy” and “grommet tube insertion.” These procedures are commonly performed by ENT Specialists in Singapore to address these issues and provide relief.

In this article, we will delve into the details of myringotomy and grommet tube insertion, shedding light on their indications, procedure, risks, postoperative recovery, and alternative options.

What is a myringotomy and grommet tube insertion?

Myringotomy is a surgical procedure that involves making a tiny incision in the eardrum to relieve pressure and drain fluid from the middle ear. This small opening allows for the insertion of a grommet tube, also known as a ventilation tube or tympanostomy tube. These tubes are typically made of plastic or metal and help maintain adequate ventilation and equalisation of pressure in the middle ear.

When is a myringotomy and grommet tube insertion needed?

When Is A Myringotomy And Grommet Tube Insertion Needed-Ent Specialists

ENT Specialists may recommend myringotomy and grommet tube insertion for several reasons.

  • Recurrent middle ear infections: When antibiotics and other treatments fail to effectively manage recurring ear infections, myringotomy and grommet tube insertion may provide long-term relief.
  • Chronic otitis media with effusion: This condition occurs when fluid accumulates in the middle ear, leading to hearing difficulties, balance problems, and speech delays, especially in children.

  • Eustachian tube dysfunction: Dysfunction in the Eustachian tube, responsible for equalizing pressure in the middle ear, can cause discomfort, muffled hearing, and recurrent infections.


Learn more: Blocked ears during or after a flu? It may be due to a Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)!

How is a myringotomy and grommet tube insertion done?

Before the procedure, an ENT Specialist will conduct a thorough examination and discuss the details with you. Myringotomy and grommet tube insertion are usually performed under local anaesthesia (in adults) and general anaesthesia in children or adults who would prefer to be asleep during the procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision in the eardrum and inserts the grommet tube, allowing fluid to drain and equalise pressure. 

The entire procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes and patients should be able to return home on the day itself. 

What are the risks involved with a myringotomy and grommet tube insertion?

While we navigate the realm of ear health, transparency remains a guiding principle. Recognising the importance of informed decision-making, and understanding the potential risks and complications accompanying myringotomy and grommet tube insertion is crucial. Although relatively safe, temporary oozing or discharge, problems with the tube (e.g. infection around it, blockage, dislodgement and migration) eardrum scarring, or rarely, persistent perforation may be encountered. When the procedure is done under local anaesthesia, sometimes temporary vertigo may be encountered when antibiotic drops are instilled through the tube into the middle ear. 

Our dedicated team here at our ENT clinic in Singapore, however, stands ready to address any concerns and minimise potential complications.

What is the postoperative recovery like after a myringotomy and grommet tube insertion?

What is the postoperative recovery like after a myringotomy and grommet tube insertion-ENT Specialists

Following the procedure, you or your child may experience minor discomfort, such as ear pain, mild dizziness, or hearing changes. Stepping into the post-procedure phase, most ENT Specialists will provide you with a roadmap to recovery, ensuring you traverse the path with confidence and ease. Comprehensive postoperative instructions, encompassing ear hygiene guidelines and water exposure precautions, lay the foundation for a swift and successful recovery. Regular follow-up visits are essential to monitor the grommet tube’s function and ensure optimal recovery as well. A grommet tube is expected to self-extrude after about 6-12 months. 

What are the alternatives to a myringotomy and grommet tube insertion?

While myringotomy and grommet tube insertion have proven effective for many patients, alternative treatment options may be considered in certain cases.

  • Antibiotic therapy: Mild cases of ear infections or fluid buildup may respond well to a course of antibiotics prescribed by an ENT Specialist.
  • Nasal steroids and decongestants: In some instances, allergies or nasal congestion may contribute to Eustachian tube dysfunction. Taking medications can help alleviate symptoms and promote fluid drainage.
  • Watchful waiting: In certain situations, an ENT Specialist may recommend a period of observation to determine if the condition resolves on its own.

Prioritise Your Ear Health Today

Myringotomy and grommet tube insertion are common procedures performed by ENT Specialists in Singapore like Dr Gan Eng Cern. 

If you are considering the procedure, make a visit to our ENT clinic to receive personalised advice and exceptional care. 

Get in touch with us today!

    When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

    • Any ear, nose or throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned about
    • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

    Dr Gan Eng Cern

    Dr Gan Eng Cern is a distinguished ENT doctor with fellowship training. In addition to his clinical practice as an ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore, Dr. Gan has contributed to the academic field as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is recognised for his extensive research work, with numerous contributions to reputable international ENT journals. Dr Gan is also highly sought after as a speaker and has shared his surgical knowledge as a surgical dissection teacher at various prominent ENT conferences and courses.


    • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist (Expat Living Singapore)
    • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
    • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
    • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
    • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical paper)
    • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health, Singapore)
    • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award


    • MBBS – Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
    • MRCS (Edin) – Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    • MMed (ORL) – Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
    • FAMS – Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

    Why Choose Dr Gan Eng Cern


    Reliable & Reputable ENT Expert

    Experienced and patient ENT Specialist who has your best interests at heart. We aim to provide you with accessible and specialized care for any ENT condition in a comfortable setting.


    Friendly & Helpful Clinic Staff

    Our friendly staff will assist you to the best of our ability and we are happy to accept most insurance providers and assist with E-filing with relevant insurance providers or Medisave.


    Advanced ENT Equipment & Fully Equipped Facility

    Our ENT Specialist, Dr Gan Eng Cern, will be able to diagnose and offer personalised treatments for your specific ENT condition. You can expect a high level of ENT care in a spacious setting with in-house minor surgical, endoscopy, allergy testing and microscopy services.


    Financial Options

    There are various financial options available for you to ensure that you are able to receive the most optimal treatment and care. Our ENT clinic staff will be able to assist you with your medical insurance claims and work with your chosen healthcare organization to minimize the hassle and paperwork required. In some cases, you may be able to utilise the funds in your Medisave account to defray part of the costs of your treatment. As our clinic is accredited by the Medisave board, we are able to process your claims from your Medisave for certain clinic procedures.

    Our ENT Clinic in Singapore

    • clinic_img
    • clinic_img
    • clinic_img
    • clinic_img
    • clinic_img

    Our Location

    Make an Enquiry

    Fill up the form and our clinic staff will get back to you within a few hours!

      Prefer Whatsapp? Message us directly to book an appointment with our Dr Gan.

      Dr Gan’s Blog

      Read some of our latest articles about Ear, Nose and Throat ( ENT ) Health.