Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Includes Expert Content
    Retracted Eardrum Surgery??
    monchie99 posted:
    Hi, my son is 9 years old and he has had 2 sets of ear tubes in the past couple years. This year, the doctor said that one of his ears have fluid in it and want another set of eartubes to be put in, but for a longer duration. For his other ear, she said that my son has a bad case of retracted eardrum and wants to have a bigger surgery on it where she opens the back of his ear to lift up the eardrum. Then she will patch it up with some kind of tissue to prevent another retraction in the future. I feel very uncomfortable with putting my son through two more surgeries that will not fix his ear issues. If he has had 2 sets of tubes put in, and it only provided a short-term solution, what is the reason to do it again? Also, for the bigger eardrum surgery, I really do not want to put him through it. I am very desperate to help in in any way, or to find another doctor to help him without opening him up. We have tried the Otovent and nasal sprays for the past month already, and it doesn't seem to be helping him. I don't know what to do and deeply concerned and worried. Thank you everyone.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    I wish that I could help you break the tie....but, without knowing the details of his case, I am really at a loss.

    Tubes usually fix the retracted eardrum, since it is "negative ear pressure"....the eardrum sucks inward....that causes this. I am not sure what the ENT is planning on doing with this more agressive surgery, unless your son has developed or is developing a cholesteatoma (a retraction pocket caused by this negative ear pressure). A cholesteatoma can be quite serious, and surgery is usually the only option.

    Ask your ENT for some surgical justification, and specifically read about cholesteatomas. See if this is what he has or is developing.....
    monchie99 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Thanks for the response. The doctor just said that my son has a severely retracted eardrum, but no cholesteatoma. She said she is not sure if she will be able to put the tubes into such a retracted ear, so she wants to do the more aggressive surgery behind the ear. With your experience, is it true that you cannot put an eartube in a severely retracted eardrum? It just doesn't seem like his eardrums are at a stage to have to do such an invasive surgery. Help!!
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to monchie99's response:
    Tubes can be inserted in retracted eardrums, but unfortunately, everyone patient is different (and every ENT, too!). Since I have no way of examining your son over the Internet, you would need to see another ENT for an official second opinion.

    There are really no general answer that would cover all cases. What you need is a patient-specific answer.
    mommaintheburbs replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    My son has gone to toronto sick kids hospital for his retracted eardrum, a CT scan showed no cyst, but they are doing the surgery to fix and rebuild the eardrum with a graft. They said tubes can aggrivate and increase the chance of a cyst developing .....hmmmmm
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to mommaintheburbs's response:
    That "cyst" may have been a cholesteatoma. It is really not the tube that causes them, but rather the formation of a "retraction pocket" because of the negative pressure that builds up in the middle ear space.

    I hope your son will do well with his ear surgery. How old is he?
    An_250044 responded:
    Hi, my son case is also facing the same problem.
    My son is 9 years old, he had once gone for gromet insertion in 2009. A week before, we have been told by doc that we have to again go for gromet insertion and his left eardrum is retracted. So, a surgery for that. He suggested us to use Otovent, nasonex and Lorfast AM for 6 weeks. And, then he will review the case.
    Could you pl. share your mobile phone or emailid. So, that i can have a word with you.
    How is your son now? Have you gone for retracted eardrum surgery?
    Pl. reply.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to An_250044's response:
    I am very sorry, but WebMD does not allow anyone to post names, addresses, phone numbers, or emails on the community boards. You will have to just have a string of conversations by postings.....

    Helpful Tips

    Your Home Black BagExpert
    Doctors used to carry black bags containing all the medical tools they would need for a home visit. Of course, that rarely happens anymore. ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    32 of 54 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Focus on Flu

    Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.