Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-25-2021


Background: Myringotomy with tympanostomy tube placement (MT) is one of the most common strategies used to treat acute otitis media (AOM). With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety precautions such as the closure of schools and daycare centers, social distancing, and widespread mask usage have caused an apparent reduction in AOM. However, there is little existing research on how this has affected the incidence of MT surgery.

Objective: Compare the incidence of MT from 2017 through 2020 and determine if there are any changes following the start of the pandemic.

Methods: Proposed – a retrospective chart review of patients at the Texas Center for Athletes in San Antonio, Texas. A literature review was conducted using PubMed and Google Scholar to give more background information for the proposed chart review.

Results: No conclusions can yet be drawn from the chart review. The literature review revealed a 71.1% decreased incidence of MTs among community providers and 53.8% decrease among tertiary care providers (P = .003). In addition, there was an increase in average patient age from 3.22 years in 2019 to 4.51 years in 2019 (P <.001).

Conclusion: Compared to pre-pandemic years, the incidence of MT surgery decreased significantly following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the average age of patients who underwent MT increased.

Academic Level

medical student

Mentor/PI Department


Available for download on Friday, February 23, 2024