Tympanostomy tubes in children

Tympanostomy tubes are small tubes that are inserted into the eardrum in order to allow the flow of both air and fluid between the middle and outer ear. Tympanostomy tube insertion is the primary surgical treatment for otitis media with or without effusion, and is performed in approximately 667,000 children each year.

Status: Decision completed

Why is tympanostomy tubes being reviewed?

There are significant questions related to the use of tympanostomy tubes for the treatment of otitis media with effusion in children under the age of 16 regarding efficacy, safety, differential efficacy and safety in subgroups, and cost. 

Primary criteria rankings

  • Safety = Medium
  • Efficacy = High
  • Cost = Medium


Assessment Timeline

  • Draft key questions published: March 11, 2015
    • Public comment period: March 11 to 25, 2015
  • Final key questions Published: May 1, 2015
  • Draft report published: August 3, 2015
    • Public comment period: August 3 to September 4, 2015
  • Final report published: October 16, 2015
  • HTCC public meeting: November 20, 2015