Steroid Injection with Placement of Ventilation Tube
What is a Steroid Injection into the Ear?
Steroids can be administered to the ear either orally or via a transtympanic injection. This is an injection through the eardrum into the middle ear. The medication (Dexamethasone 10mg/cc) then diffuses across a membrane into the inner ear. This allows for a higher dose of the medication to be delivered into the inner ear. This is usually accomplished via an office-based procedure. The eardrum is anesthetized with eardrops. A tube is then placed in the eardrum. The medication (steroid) is then injected through the tube into the ear. The procedure typically takes about 20 minutes with very little discomfort.
Risks and Complications of Surgery
The risks of the procedure within the ear are low compared to the possible benefits. The substantial risks involved with the procedure include, but are not limited to:
Hearing Loss – Although most of our patients experience a hearing improvement after the procedure, some have the same hearing and few have a further or complete loss of hearing.
Dizziness – This may occur immediately following surgery due to the anesthetic eardrops getting inside the ear. This complication is rare, but if it does happen, it is miserable for about 3-4 hours. It resolves as the numbing medication wears off. This is not a permanent complication.
Perforation – A hole in the eardrum must be created to place the tube. Once the tube is removed, the hole must then heal. Sometimes the hole does not heal and the eardrum has a permanent perforation. This can usually be repaired if necessary.