COVID-19: Learn more about testing and what to expect when you visit any LMH Health location.
COVID Vaccination: Frequently Asked Questions as well as what you need to know today. Learn more
View All Services
Find a New Primary Care Provider
Search by Specialty
View All Locations
Discover classes, events, tours, and groups that fit your interests.
Home > Be Healthy > Health Library > Tympanocentesis for Ear Infections
Tympanocentesis is the removal of fluid from behind the eardrum. The doctor uses a special needle with a tube attached to collect the sample of fluid. A culture and sensitivity test is usually done on the sample of fluid.
Before the test, your child may get medicine to help him or her relax. Or a doctor or nurse may apply medicine directly to the eardrum to numb the area. If there is a lot of earwax, it is removed from the ear before the test begins.
The child is held very still while the fluid is removed. You may be asked to help with holding your child still.
In most cases, the eardrum heals within 3 to 5 days after the procedure.
This procedure is not often done. It is sometimes done:
In most cases, doing a culture and sensitivity test on fluid collected by tympanocentesis can identify the bacteria causing the infection. This helps the doctor prescribe an antibiotic that is more likely to work. Sometimes no bacteria are found in the fluid.
Current as of:
December 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Susan C. Kim MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineJohn Pope MD - Pediatrics
Current as of: December 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.