Why use TubesToday over scheduling appointment with a specialist?
TubesToday arranges for ear tube placement to be done the same day as your visit with the ENT surgeon, streamlining the process and getting the ear tubes placed quicker and with less hassle at no increased expense to you or your family.
Who is the ideal candidate for same day tubes?
The ideal candidate for TubesToday is a mostly healthy child that is suffering from recurrent ear infections or persistent fluid behind the ear drum causing hearing loss and/or speech delay. Usually by the time you realize your child needs ear tube placement, your pediatrician will be suggesting this treatment as well. TubesToday is designed for the busy household that desires a more efficient process in having ear tube placement.
What if my child has an ear infection the day of the scheduled procedure?
If your child has an ear infection the day of the operation, the procedure will likely move forward as planned. Only if your child has a high fever or trouble breathing due to a cold or other issue will the case be delayed and rescheduled at your convenience.
What do I need to bring with me to the appointment?
- Any information from your pediatrician about your child (Pediatrician’s medical records of your child if available)
- Personal Identification - Photo ID is required at all facilities
- Insurance information - ins card and referral from insurance company
- Custody papers if applicable
- Payment method
- Your TubesToday confirmation email
- Your child
Why ear tubes – do they really work?
Ear tubes are a surgical solution to recurrent ear infections. Ear tubes are placed when ear infections recur over and over despite adequate treatment with antibiotics. Although ear tubes do not prevent all ear infections for occurring, in most cases they greatly reduce the frequency and stop the vicious cycle. This simple surgery solution has been standard medical treatment for over half a century and has a 97% success rate.
Ear infections can cause damage to the eardrum, rupture to the eardrum and temporary as well as permanent hearing loss, so it is important to have the condition examined by your physician.
What does it cost?
If your child is deemed a candidate for the one day ear tube program by TubesToday, the cost of the procedure will be shared between you and your insurance company. The cost is based on your surgeon’s contract with your insurance company, and your policy’s deductible/co-insurance arrangement. Please call or use your insurance’s website for an estimate. When obtaining an estimate; if procedure codes are requested, the 2 most common CPT codes are 99203 and 69436.
Criteria for the Same Day Ear Tubes Program with TubesToday:
- Be at least 6 months of age and have recurrent or persistent ear infections.
- Persistent ear infections are defined below:
- Have had more than 3 ear infections in 6 months or
- Have had more than 4 ear infections in 12 months or
- Have had middle ear fluid lasting 3 months or longer
- It is always preferred that your pediatrician recommended the procedure
- The day of the procedure it is best for your child’s safety to have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the scheduled arrival time. If this is not the case it will be up to the anesthesiologist and ENT physician to reschedule your child’s case.
- Persistent ear infections are defined below:
How does the procedure work?
After parents pick the date, time, location and physician, your ENT specialist will be notified. It is optional but some ENT specialist may call you prior to discuss the case and answer any last minute questions. Remember all of the ENT specialists are Board-Certified, and experienced with the placement of ear tubes.
Usually ear tubes are placed in the early morning but times may vary from center to center or physician to physician. The time you selected should give you a clear idea of when to come to the center.
First you will be greeted by a preoperative nurse or other representative from the center and escorted to a private room. Several intake questions will be asked, and your child’s vital signs may be taken (height, weight, blood pressure).
Next there will be an initial consultation with the ENT physician lasting around 15 minutes. During this time the procedure will be explained and you can ask questions and voice any concerns. The ENT physician will be getting to know your child during this time as well and is making sure your child is an appropriate candidate for ear tube placement. Once the decision is finalized, and both you and the ENT physician agree, you will be asked to sign a formal surgical consent.
Next, the anesthesiologist will enter the room and discuss the details of the case and how your child’s anesthesia will be handled. This process takes only a few minutes and again is the time for the parents to ask any questions about your child’s care. The day of the procedure it is best for your child’s safety to have nothing to eat or drink since midnight prior to the scheduled arrival time. If this is not the case it will be up to the anesthesiologist and ENT physician to reschedule your child’s case.
Soon after, you child will be taken back to the operating room. Although parents are not permitted in the operating room, you may have the option to walk with your child a short distant and help alleviate the anxiety that all parents and children experience.
The procedure is rather quick and will likely take on average about 15 minutes before you see the physician again at the end of the case. The physician will come out and discuss with you the findings and postoperative care. Please remember the time of the case cannot be predicted down to the minute as there are many factors that need consideration, so do not be alarmed if your case takes a few extra minutes.
Your child will initially be received by a postoperative nurse and taken care of until it is appropriate for you to be reunited. Most of our families are out of the hospital within 1 hour after the procedure, but again this can vary. The postoperative nurse will review the instruction with you and your family.
Expect your child to cry when returning to you. This is completely normal as the anesthesia is wearing off. Furthermore, expect your child over the next several hours to be a bit drowsy but by dinner time your child will behave like nothing happened.
Can my child swim with ear tubes?
Yes, Bath time is so much fun and children love to swim. Ear tubes should not be an issue. Clean water and chlorinated water do not increase the rate of ear infections for children who have ear tubes in place. After the tubes are surgically placed, we do ask parents to keep water out of the ears for about a week to allow the eardrum to seal around the tube, but after that, your child is free to swim. Ocean water is still considered “clean” due to the salt content and child do not seem to have any issues at the beach. River water tends to be riddled with bacteria so if possible, keeping in swim plugs is usually advised.