Water protection in patients with tympanostomy tubes in tympanic membrane: a randomized clinical trial
To analyze the incidence of otorrhea in the postoperative period of patients submitted to tympanotomy to place ventilation tube, and who did not protect the ear when exposed to water.
Open, randomized-controlled trial. Eighty patients submitted to unilateral or bilateral ear grommet tympanostomy were included and divided into two groups: Auricular Protection and Non-Protection to water during bathing and activities in water.
In the first postoperative month, the Non-Protection Group presented a significant increase in the number of patients with otorrhea and in the incidence. Four patients of the Protection Group (11%) presented at least one episode of otorrhea in this period, representing an incidence of 0.11 (standard deviation ±0.32) episode/month, whereas in the Non-Protection Group there were 12 episodes (33%; p=0.045) and incidence of 0.33 (±0.48; p=0.02). Between the 2nd and the 13th postoperative months, there was no difference between groups. Seven patients in the Protection Group (20%) had at least one episode of otorrhea, representing an incidence of 0.04 (±0.09) episodes/month, while in the Non-Protection Group there were seven episodes (22%; p=0.8) and incidence of 0.05 (±0.1; p=0.8).
Patients who underwent ear protection when exposed to water had a lower incidence of otorrhea in the first postoperative month than those who did not undergo protection. From the second month, there was no difference between groups.