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Is surgery required to remove grommets?

Q: My 8 years old son had grommets inserted 4 years back in both the ears. One of the grommet has fallen out but the other one is still there. Does he need to undergo another surgery to get the grommet out? What are the plus and minus points of the grommet still inside the ear?

A:Grommets will come out on their own. Bad point is that he cannot swim as water may enter the ear and cause infection. Good point is that he can fly without ear pressure till grommets are in position. Grommets may be taken out if he wants to swim, if he is getting ear discharge, or if the child has learnt blowing air into the ear i.e. Valsalva maneuver. Otherwise they prevent ear fluid during cold.

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