Ear tube surgery is a common procedure, but I wanted to share the experience I had with our 8-month-old getting tubes. Poor Sebastian just went through it yesterday morning. If you want a medical explanation this site here explains the procedure well. I knew it was normal outpatient surgery so I tried not to freak out but as a mom was nervous. Overall it was a good experience and hopefully, it will help his ear infections.
Our insurance made us get a referral from the general doctor to a specialist surgeon, so we had that appointment first. They knew his history of ear infections that kept turning into sinus infections so we got the referral fast. If you are wondering he had 5 infections since he was 4 months old. He is in daycare which could have been a factor but it also runs in Alan and I genetics. My mom for example had 3 sets of tubes.
Ear, Nose, Throat Surgeon
After they sent the referral to the ENT Surgeon, we got a call within a couple of days to schedule an appointment to look at his ears. When we arrived at the surgeon’s office I had to sign the paperwork, have them input his insurances, as well as get a copy of my ID. Next, we went back to the surgeon’s room and had the fastest appointment ever. He looked in his ears, said they had fluid and he reiterated his ear infection history. He said he will put in for the surgery for tubes in both ears then went over a sheet with me of what happens during surgery. After that, we were lead to the billing department to see what insurance would cover. Thankfully they covered 80% but unthankfully we still had to pay $350.00 for the physician fee 1 week before the surgery. Then the ear tube surgery was scheduled!
Outpatient Surgery Center
The outpatient surgery center called us to get information like insurance and medical history. He had to wear a two-piece outfit for the ECG lead placements. They gave us a phone number to call the day before the surgery to figure out what time we needed to be there. For formula, he was allowed to have it up to 6 hours before the surgery. We should also bring a bottle for after he wakes up from surgery. He can have a small comfort item back in surgery with him if we wanted to bring one. No lotions the night before or the morning of. We also had to call the billing department there to check for an outstanding balance if our insurance didn’t cover it, all was well. After that call, I had to call the anesthesiologist department to make sure we wouldn’t have to pay anything through them as well but insurance covered it completely.
The surgery was at 6:30 am because he was the first patient. So I got up at 5:45 and was out the door at 6:15 am. When arrived we signed more paperwork at the desk and were took back quickly by the nurse to pre-op. The nurse took his BP, Pulse, Temp, and listened to his heart/lungs. After that, the Surgeon came and re-explained the plan for the ear tube surgery. After that, we signed papers for the anesthesiologist. Then he went back for surgery! I was lead out to the lobby again to wait. All I had was a banana and the Surgeon came out to say he was done and it went well.
Post-Op Ear Tube Surgery
They came out to get me and he was cranky but after drinking two oz he was fine and smiling again. I had him between my legs and he just wanted to hoard all of his toys in one place. He would cry if anything went out of the circle he created lol. He was very loopy on the anesthesia. They still had him hooked up to the leads and he kept trying to eat the cords. Then would cry from me taking them out of his hands. Which again was the anesthesia, he is usually super calm. He was smiling and laughing though so they signed him off and we left at 7:45 am. On the way home, he fell asleep for an hour. The nurses let us know that he would be scared of loud noises, no liquid near his ear, the red discharge would be normal, and he would be scared when he burps from the pressure change. The surgeon prescribed ear drops 2x day for 5 days, and by the way, they were $133.00. We did not expect that!
Day Of Surgery
The day of surgery was rough lol. I did give him Tylenol throughout the day to help with the pain. The first half he was loopy from the anesthesia. He would wine easily and kept trying to nap but would only nap for 30 minutes. He also spits up a lot. When playing he would be uncoordinated and wanted all his toys near him. Afternoon the anesthesia wore off and he was cranky! Crying on and off while trying to play. It was interesting for sure, but we got through it. Also, he farted so much! By bedtime, he was getting back to normal though.
Day After Ear Tube Surgery
Today he went back to daycare, and they said he had a great day. He was smiling and trying to stand by himself! When I picked him up he was happy and snuggling me. Now we are home and he took an 8oz bottle and fell asleep for his nap. He is back to normal.
I hope sharing our ear tube surgery will help other parents in the future. Overall the communications were great, they were sanitary and so sweet to Sebastian. Before you leave go check out other blog posts, like 10 tips for sick parents. Linked Here. Also, comment if you are going through this or have been through this!