Incidence of perforation with Goode T-tube

Bruce H. Matt, Robert P. Miller, Robert M. Meyers, James M. Campbell, Robin T. Cotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Two groups of patients from the same era were retrospectively studied in Cincinnati and Chicago. In Cincinnati two subgroups were studied. The first group received myringotomy with insertion of a 'T'-shaped ventilating tube (75 patients, 140 ears, 147 insertions). Fifty-eight ears still had the tube in place, 31 had healed after spontaneous extrusion, 17 had healed after removal of the tube, 20 had persistent perforation after the tube was gone, 2 had a cholesteatoma, and 4 patients (7 ears) were lost to follow-up. The second set received myringotomy and insertion of a small grommet (Donaldson tube, 71 patients, 140 ears, 164 insertions) tympanostomy tube. None could be documented to still have the tube in place, 156 ears healed after spontaneous extrusion, none required removal, 3 ears had a persistent perforation after the tube was gone, none had cholesteatoma, and 5 patients (5 ears) were lost to follow-up. The perforation rate for the T-tube is 13.6% and for the grommet is 1.8% (P = 0.0005). In Chicago, 93 patients who received the Goode T style tube (175 ears, 175 insertions) prior to March, 1986 were evaluated. The degree of retraction of the tympanic membrane preoperatively was recorded. No ears still had the tube in place, 145 had healed after spontaneous extrusion or removal of the tube, 30 had persistent perforation 12 months after the tube was gone, 4 had a cholesteatoma, and 8 patients (15 ears) were lost to follow-up. The rate of perforation is 18.8% which is not statistically different from the Cincinnati rate. We consider the average rate of perforation (16.7%) for T-tubes to be unacceptably high and do not recommend them for routine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Myringotomy
  • Surgical complication
  • T-tube
  • Tympanostomy tube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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