Skip to main content

Circle Health Group

Grommet insertion (glue ear treatment)

Grommet insertion to treat glue ear allows air to enter your middle ear, preventing fluid build-up and the resulting deafness. Book online today.

What is glue ear?

Glue ear is a common condition where fluid collects in your middle ear behind your eardrum. It can cause deafness and repeated earache or infections, sometimes resulting in a discharge from your ear. Your surgeon has recommended placing a grommet (small plastic or metal tube) to treat your glue ear.

How does glue ear happen?

The eustachian tube connects your middle ear with the back of your nose. Sometimes this tube does not work properly. This causes fluid to build up in your middle ear. This collection of fluid is called glue ear.

What are the benefits of surgery?

The grommet allows air to enter your middle ear, preventing fluid build-up and the resulting deafness.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Many people with glue ear do not need surgery. The condition almost always gets better, but it is not always possible to say when this will happen. Another treatment is to wear a hearing aid until hearing improves.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic, but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes about 20 minutes. Your surgeon will make a small hole in your eardrum and remove the fluid by suction. They will place a plastic or metal grommet in the hole.

What complications can happen?

Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications that can be serious and can even cause death. Please bear in mind the general and specific complications regarding this type of operation.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of this operation

  • Leaking from your ear of clear fluid or fluid mixed with blood for 1 to 2 days
  • Ear discharge lasting longer than 1 to 2 days
  • Small hole left in the eardrum
  • Repeated build-up of fluid in your middle ear

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day. Do not swim for 6 weeks and then do not dive deeper than 2 metres. Other than swimming, you should be able to return to normal activities after 1 to 2 days.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice. The grommet will fall out of your ear by itself, after 6 to 18 months, depending on the material and design of the grommet.

Summary

Glue ear is a common condition that usually gets better without any surgery. Surgery is recommended when the condition lasts longer than 3 months and the hearing loss is causing problems. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry. 

Acknowledgements

Author: Miss Ruth Capper MD FRCS (ORL-HNS)

Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright © Medical-Artist.com

Grommet insertion

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £2,499 Included £2,499
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £2,699

Specialists Offering Grommet insertion (glue ear treatment)

Mrs Konstantina Konstance Tzifa

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mphil, FRCS (Orl-Hons), FRCS DLO

BMI The Priory Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Mrinal Supriya

Consultant ENT/Head Neck & Thyroid Surgeon

FRCS(OTOL-HNS), MRCS Ed, DO-HNS, MS(ENT), MBBS

BMI Three Shires Hospital

View profile Book online

Professor Francis Vaz

Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgeon

MBBS, BSc (Hons), FRCS (Gen), FRCS (ORL-HNS)

BMI Shirley Oaks Hospital 1 more BMI The Sloane Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Shahzada Khuram Ahmed

Consultant ENT and Skull Base Surgeon

BSc(Hons), DLO, MBChB, FRCS (ORL-HNS), PhD

BMI The Priory Hospital 2 more BMI The Edgbaston Hospital BMI The Meriden Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Kalpesh Patel

Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgeon

FRCS (ORL)

BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Arunachalam Iyer

Consultant ENT Surgeon

MBBS, MS (ENT),  DLO RCS (Eng), FRCS (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ireland), FRCS (ORL)

BMI Ross Hall Hospital

View profile Book online

View all

Ways to pay

credit card

Pay for yourself

Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and 6 months' aftercare

Find out more

insurance

Pay with health insurance

We are widely recognised by health insurers. Ask your insurer about your cover and for an insurer pre-authorisation code

Find out more

direct debit

Spread the cost

Pay for yourself with the BMI card and spread the cost over 12 months, interest-free (terms and conditions apply)

Find out more

General Enquiries