What Is Tympanocentesis

Tympanocentesis is the process of removing fluid inside the ears. Using a special needle, the doctor extracts a fluid sample that's blocking the eardrum, which is a crucial element before conducting a culture and sensitivity test. However, tympanocentesis is not the fitting treatment for recurring ear infections, such as recurrent otitis media.

For child patients, the doctor generally prescribes sedation treatment before performing the test. As an alternative, the doctor may apply an agent to numb the area. To pave a clear path toward the eardrum, earwax is removed prior to conducting the test. Healing generally takes about 3 to 5 days after the treatment is performed.

There are 4 common reasons why a tympanocentesis is performed:

  • To relieve the child from severe earache.
  • When the ear infection is not getting any better despite several treatments.
  • Severe earache or ear infection is accompanied by fever.
  • Serious complications accompany an ear infection.
  • When a newborn suffers from ear infection.
  • There is a presence of an unusual organism inside the ear, causing the infection.
  • When a child with weak immune system suffers from ear infection.
  • To ease the pressure inside the ears of a child struggling with severe ear pain.


A culture and sensitivity test is also conducted to identify bacteria that's causing the inflammation in the ears. The procedure allows the doctor to properly prescribe the appropriate treatment to eliminate the bacteria.


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