Myringotomy with and without tympanostomy tubes for chronic otitis media with effusion.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1989; 115(10):1217-24AO
We studied 109 children with otitis media with effusion of 2 months' duration or longer that was unresponsive to medical management. Eighty-six subjects who had neither "significant" hearing loss nor defined symptoms were randomly assigned to receive myringotomy, myringotomy with tympanostomy tube insertion, or no surgery, and 23 subjects with significant hearing loss, defined symptoms, or both were randomly assigned to receive either myringotomy or myringotomy with tube insertion. Myringotomy with tube insertion provided more disease-free time and better hearing than either myringotomy alone or no surgery; however, some subjects who underwent myringotomy with tube insertion developed otorrhea or persistent perforation of the tympanic membrane. Myringotomy offered no advantage over no surgery regarding percent of time with middle-ear effusion, number of acute otitis media episodes, and number of subsequent surgical procedures. These results may not properly be extrapolated to less severely affected children.