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February 1980

Incidence of Complications From Use of Tympanostomy Tubes

Arch Otolaryngol. 1980;106(2):97-99. doi:10.1001/archotol.1980.00790260029009

• The widely accepted treatment of chronic serous otitis media with ventilation tubes has resulted in an apparently acceptable level of complications. Perhaps because of the extreme variability in the type of tube used and the methods of inserting these tubes, little attention has been paid to the incidence of these complications. To arrive at preliminary complication rates that may be used in discussion with parents, 307 patients who were under 10 years of age and treated with tympanostomy tubes were evaluated retrospectively to document the rate of complications. The literature was screened for other series of patients treated with tympanostomy tubes where data regarding complications were available, and comparisons were made to determine the value of these figures. The level of simple complications was high, but the incidence of serious complications was low enough to support the further use of this method of therapy.

(Arch Otolaryngol 106:97-99, 1980)