European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 166, Issue 5, pp 385–391 | Cite as

Grommets in otitis media with effusion: the most frequent operation in children. But is it associated with significant complications?

  • Petros V. Vlastarakos
  • Thomas P. Nikolopoulos
  • Stavros Korres
  • Evangelia Tavoulari
  • Antonios Tzagaroulakis
  • Eleftherios Ferekidis



Otitis media with effusion is one of the most frequent diseases in children, and its management requires the attention of general practitioners, pediatricians and ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeons. The main complications associated with tympanostomy tube insertion, are: (1) purulent otorrhea (10–26% of cases), in which local otic preparations might be effective, and biofilm-resistant tubes may decrease this complication in the future; (2) myringosclerosis (39–65% of operated ears), with usually no serious sequelae; (3) segmental atrophy (16–75% of cases); (4) atrophic scars and pars flaccida retraction pockets (28 and 21% of operated ears, respectively); (5) tympanic membrane perforations (3% of cases, although with T-tubes, the incidence may be as high as 24%); (6) cholesteatoma (1% of cases), although tympanostomy tubes may sometimes prevent, rather than contribute to its development; (7) granulation tissue (5–40% of instances), when the duration of tube retention is prolonged.


It would appear that the complications associated with tympanostomy tube insertion are more frequent than anticipated, reaching 80% of operated ears under specific circumstances and in certain subgroups of children. These complications may resolve with conservative management, but in persistent cases surgical removal of the tubes is mandatory.


Children Complications Grommets Otitis media with effusion Typanostomy Sequelae Ventillation tubes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petros V. Vlastarakos
    • 1
    • 3
  • Thomas P. Nikolopoulos
    • 2
  • Stavros Korres
    • 1
  • Evangelia Tavoulari
    • 1
  • Antonios Tzagaroulakis
    • 2
  • Eleftherios Ferekidis
    • 1
  1. 1.Ear, Nose and Throat DepartmentHippokrateion General Hospital of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Ear, Nose and Throat DepartmentAtticon University HospitalAthensGreece
  3. 3.AthensGreece

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