Ear infection surgery in children

Upper respiratory tract infections are common in young children. A healthy child under school age can contract up to 10 upper respiratory tract infections in a single year. These infections are usually caused by viruses, and the symptoms are coughs, head colds and fever. Mucous membrane swelling and secretion obstruct the Eustachian tube. This impairs Eustachian tube function. If this goes on for a prolonged period, conditions may become favourable for the bacteria of the nasopharynx. This can lead to bacterial middle ear infection.

Approximately one in three children suffer from recurrent middle ear infections, and around 5% of all children suffer from prolonged periods of secretion in the middle ear. Recurring and prolonged middle ear infections in children are treated with grommets. Grommets are small ventilation tubes which are inserted into the eardrum. These tubes allow the ear to be ventilated normally and help drain the glue ear.

The grommet insertion procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and takes around 15 minutes. After the procedure, the patient is monitored for about an hour.  In most cases, the child feels no pain after the procedure and can return to day care the following day. When the grommets are in, water must be prevented from entering the ears. When necessary, the ears can be protected with, for instance, silicone ear plugs and a head band. After the grommet insertion, the ears are examined by a physician every 1-6 months until the grommets are removed.

Medical centres


Porkkalankatu 22 C, 1st floor
00180 Helsinki

Operating days are from Monday to Friday


Hammarén-Malmi Sari


MD, Specialist in Otorhinolaryngology, additional competence in Rhinosurgery and Rhinoallergology. Nose disorders, nose surgery, diseases of the paranasal sinuses, paranasal sinus surgery, ear infections, tonsil surgery, adenoid surgery, ear tubes (tympanostomy tubes), desensitization, minor surgical procedures for ears, nose and throat