Tympanostomy tubes, originally conceived for the treatment of chronic nonsuppurative otitis media, have the added role of ventilating and thus reversing the atelectatic ear. Tympanoplasty, once contraindicated when the eustachian tube failed to function, can now be extended to include those patients with persistent eustachian tube malfunction if an indwelling tube is used to ventilate and stabilize the middle ear. The reconstructed ear can be protected from atelectasis and delayed damage to the ossicular chain by leaving a ventilating tube in place until satisfactory eustachian tube function is assured. The tympanostomy tube is a therapeutic adjunct that has, when supplemented with appropriate complementary treatment, the potential of saving more ears and preserving more hearing than any other conservative surgical measure.
Armstrong BW. Role of Ventilating Tubes in Tympanoplasty. Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(1):13–14. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010017004
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