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To assess the five-year outcome of the use of single-flanged tympanostomy tubes in children, including the time to extrusion, rate of retained tubes and rate of persistent perforation.
Materials and methods:
The medical records relating to 640 single-flanged tympanostomy tubes intended for short-term use in paediatric patients were retrospectively reviewed.
Results and analysis:
We found that 36.4 per cent of the tubes had extruded within 12 months and 71.0 per cent within 24 months. Results showed that 14.1 per cent of the tubes had been removed because of prolonged retention, with a mean time to removal of 38.9 months. The time to extrusion was longer and the rate of retained tubes was higher than those reported for several other short-term tubes. We found that 4.5 per cent of tube insertions had resulted in a persistent perforation, a higher percentage than previously reported for other tubes intended for short-term use. Within five years of tube insertion, 70.5 per cent of the tympanic membranes had normalised.
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