Myringotomy is a surgical procedure of the eardrum or tympanic membrane. The procedure is performed by making a small incision with a myringotomy knife through the layers of tympanic membrane. This surgical procedure permits direct access to the middle ear space and allows the release of middle-ear fluid, which is the end product of otitis media with effusion (OME), whether acute or chronic. OME is classified as serous, mucoid, or purulent. The fluid is suctioned from the middle ear through the incision and, if indicated, sent for bacterial or viral cultures. Currently, bilateral myringotomy is often used in conjunction with placement of middle-ear ventilation tubes, which permits the incised drum to remain open and allows better drainage of middle-ear fluid.

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