What is Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy surgery?

Grommets are ventilation tubes which are inserted into the eardrum/s. The surgery involves placing a grommet (small plastic or metal tube) to treat yours or your child’s ears by enabling air to enter the middle ear and prevent fluid build up.
Turbinectomy is an operation inside the nose to cauterise the turbinates on the sidewall of the nose, to clear a blocked nose.

Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy - Image EXPLAINER


Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy - who is it for?

Who Is Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy For?

Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy Surgery is for individuals who have enlarged turbinates (or nasal concha) which can sometimes permanently enlarge the inside of their nose, causing symptoms of a blocked nose. The surgery is recommended when the condition lasts longer than 3 months and there is associated hearing loss which is causing problems with speech, schooling or work for adults.

What are the benefits?

The grommet ventilates the middle ear, allowing air to enter it. This prevents fluid build-up and the resulting deafness and the turbinectomy gives relief from a blocked nose.

What happens During Surgery?

The grommet insertion operation treats glue ear and involves making a small hole in the eardrum and removing fluid build up by suction. The plastic or metal grommet is put in the hole.

For the turbinectomy surgery, you may be put under a general anaesthetic but a local anaesthetic also can be used. The operation usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Reducing the size of the turbinates usually involves one of the following techniques. 

  • Diathermy – Passing an electric current through a needle placed either on the surface of the turbinate or inside the tissue. 
  • Trimming – Cutting away the lower or outer part of the turbinate. This may also involve removing some of the turbinate bone and rolling some of the remaining tissue over the raw area.


Your surgeon may place some packing in your nose to prevent bleeding.

The operation is performed through your nostrils and does not result in any facial scars or black eyes.

How long will I stay in hospital?

You may be able to go home the day after or a few days after surgery. If you had non-dissolvable packing in your nose, you will need to stay overnight and the packing will be removed the next morning.

What is my recovery time?

You will need to stay off work and away from groups of people for 2 weeks. This is to avoid catching a cold, which could result in an infection.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. However, swimming is not recommended for 6 weeks and do not dive deeper than 2 metres. Other than swimming, you should be able to return to normal activities after 1 to 2 days.

Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

The grommet will fall out of the ear by itself, after 6 to 18 months, depending on the material and design of the grommet.

Most people make a full recovery and can return to normal activities.

Self Pay Surgery Costs for Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy

Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy Self Pay Surgery Package includes
Grommet Insertion & Turbinectomy Self Pay Surgery Price 
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SURGERY - criteria

Do you qualify for This Self Pay Procedure?

You are suitable for this surgery if:

  • You are over 16 years of age
  • You are not pregnant
  • You do not require complex rehabilitation or have a chronic disease that would require immediate post-operative care in an intensive care unit
  • You do not have sickle cell anaemia, renal failure or have had a cardiac arrest or cardiac intervention (e.g. insertions of stents) in the last six months

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