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  • Are Ear Tubes Right for Your Child?

Published on January 22, 2019

Are Ear Tubes Right for Your Child?

A Local Parent Shares Her Story

Several months ago, Katie Sherrer brought her daughter Lenni in to Wayne UNC Health Care to receive ear tubes. At just six months old, Lenni was struggling with chronic ear infections.

Sherrer, an Intensive Care Unit nurse for Wayne UNC until 2016 when she gave birth to her first child, said once Lenni was at an age where she could receive tubes, she began talking with Dr. Michael Johnson at UNC Ear, Nose and Throat about her daughter’s allergies and ear infections.

“If you have a child with continuous ear infections, I would definitely advice consulting with their doctor,” said Sherrer. “In the end, you’re the parent. You know what’s best for your child. And, if you’re not satisfied with the answers you’ve received, always go for a second opinion.”

Sherrer said the nurses and staff at Wayne UNC treated her daughter like family. “In pre-op they took time to explain the procedure, and then the CRNA carried her in his arms back to the OR,” said Sherrer. “They made sure she was at ease.”

Because patients can’t eat or drink anything six to 12 hours prior to the time of their surgery, Sherrer said she held Lenni’s late feeding as long as she could the night before and kept her awake a little longer than her bedtime. She also brought Lenni a pacifier and other toys to chew on prior to the surgery.

After the surgery, Dr. Johnson called Sherrer to let her know the surgery was successful and that she could feed Lenni when she returned to the room.

At Wayne UNC, insertion of ear tubes is commonly performed as an outpatient procedure, with no overnight stay required. The surgery takes approximately 15 minutes, as the doctor makes a small opening in the eardrum, drains fluid and places the tube.

Sherrer said the ear tube surgery has been successful for her daughter, who is now able to sleep comfortably through the night. The team at Wayne UNC, she said, helped her to feel reassured and made sure she knew what to expect before and following surgery.

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