How You Will Feel

Generally most patients recover smoothly after grommet surgery, with few if any problems. You may feel some nausea related to the anaesthesia, which usually improves over the first couple of days after surgery. Otherwise there is rarely any pain or discomfort in the ears. Please do not drive, operate machinery, sign any legal documents or drink alcohol for 24-48 hours after the operation.

Activity Level

It is advised that you avoid contact with people and dirty/dusty environments for two to three days after the surgery. For most people this means two to three days off school or work at most. This is to reduce your risk of getting an infection or virus. You should also avoid excessive or strenuous exercise for one week. Gentle exercise is ok.

Water contact

It is particularly important to avoid water contact for the first four weeks, until you are seen for review in clinic. This includes bath or shower water. The ears can be protected with earplugs, a combination of cotton wool with Vaseline, or a tightly fitting headband. Please also avoid
swimming during this period.

Flying after grommet surgery

It is perfectly OK to fly in an aeroplane soon after grommets have been inserted. This is because the hole in the grommet prevents any build up in pressure within the middle ear. This means that the ear will not get painful.


Try to keep fit and healthy in the days and weeks after your surgery. This includes maintaining a balanced, healthy diet with good hydration and plenty of iron, vitamin C and other vitamins, which can boost your immune system and contribute to a smoother and faster recovery. You can also gently resume exercise. Also try to avoid alcohol in the days after your surgery.


You are likely to be prescribed some antibiotic eardrops for the first 3-5 days, which need to be taken regularly. Please take painkillers only if required, as there is usually little or no pain.


Monitor your temperature for elevations above 101°F – 102°F; look for any bleeding or unpleasant discharge from the ears; note any worsening dizziness or tinnitus (ringing noise). Report any of these findings either directly to the hospital ward from where you were discharged, or to Professor Chatrath’s office.

Please write down any questions that may arise, so that we may answer them at your next visit.

Further information

Please contact:
Maria, Secretary to Professor Paul Chatrath
Tel: 020 3865 7225

Or visit the website for further information: