Which surgical procedures are performed in the treatment of acute otitis media (AOM)?

Updated: Sep 25, 2019
  • Author: John D Donaldson, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Surgical management of AOM can conveniently be divided into 3 related procedures:

  • Tympanocentesis

  • Myringotomy

  • Myringotomy with insertion of a ventilating tube

Indications for these 3 procedures may be diagnostic, therapeutic, or prophylactic. More than 1 indication for a procedure may have to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Selection of the appropriate procedure results from evaluation of patient factors, surgeon factors, available resources, and urgency. Each of these aspects must be examined to select that procedure that gives the optimal predicted outcome.

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