A myringotomy is a procedure to put a hole in the eardrum. This is done so that fluid trapped in the middle ear can drain out. The fluid may be blood, pus, and/or water. In many cases, a small tube is inserted into the hole in the eardrum. The tube helps to maintain drainage.

A myringotomy may be done:

  • To restore hearing loss caused by chronic fluid build-up and to prevent delayed speech development caused by hearing loss in children.
  • To place tympanostomy tubes—these tubes help to equalize pressure. It may also help prevent recurrent ear infections and the accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum.
  • To help treat an ear infection that is not responding to medical treatment.
  • To take sample fluid from the middle ear to examine in the lab for the presence of bacteria or other infections.

After the procedure, pain and/or pressure in the ear due to fluid build-up should be alleviated. Hearing loss due to fluid build-up should improve as well.