Hummingbird Ear Tubes for Children

An anesthesia-free procedure for ear tube placement in children

For Physicians

Introducing Ear Tube Placement without the Need for General Anesthesia

Ear tube surgery — otherwise known by the name tympanostomy tube placement (TTS) — is a common treatment  faced by the parents of children with chronic ear infections and similar conditions. Until now, ear tube options were limited for toddlers and younger children and typically involved an operating room visit.

The FDA-cleared Hummingbird procedure offers parents an alternative to traditional ear tube surgery without the need for general anesthesia. This helps parents, pediatric patients and surgeons by moving the ear tube procedure out of the operating room and into the comfort of the ENT’s office. Parents may be present during the procedure as well — allowing them to provide hands-on comfort to their child.

What makes the Hummingbird unique?


The Hummingbird eliminates risk and stress associated with general anesthesia during your child’s ear tube placement. Parents may also be present throughout the procedure.¹ ²


The in-office procedure eliminates the need for fasting and the operating room, allowing your child to return immediately to normal activities following the procedure.² ³


Overall costs associated with the Hummingbird ear tube procedure are often much less as general anesthesia is not required.

How Hummingbird Anesthesia-Free Ear Tube Placement Works


Your pediatrician refers your child to an ENT to confirm the need for ear tubes.


Your ENT explains the Hummingbird in-office procedure option, which does not require an operating room, general anesthesia, or hours of fasting for your child. The procedure can potentially take place on the same day.


Your child will be made comfortable via swadling to limit movement risk and to help facilitate a quick procedure. You may  be in the room during the entire process.


The ENT will remove ear wax and place a topical anesthetic on the ear drum to reduce pain for your child. 


The ear tubes are placed into your child’s ears using the Hummingbird device. The procedure is an efficient same-day procedure. 


Your child will be able to return to normal activities immediately following the procedure.

Hummingbird In-Office Outcomes²

98% of parent survey respondents would recommend the procedure to other parents.

Same-day procedure is conducted in-office in less than five minutes without recovery time.

All patients tolerated the procedure acceptably, based on independent physician reviews.

Is this procedure safe?

Ear tubes are the most common pediatric procedure and have been safely performed for decades. The FDA approval of the Hummingbird® device provides an even safer option for your child by eliminating the potential risk of general anesthesia. Over 1,000 children have been safely treated using the Hummingbird.

Can I remain in the room during the procedure?

The Hummingbird is performed in an office environment, allowing for parents to be part of the procedure. Your presence will help to calm your child and be a soothing factor in their overall response to the tube placement.

How long will the procedure take?

The overall procedure is highly efficient, with your child able to resume normal activities immediately afterwards.

How will you get my child to stay still?

Your child will be swaddled in a blanket and/or gently wrapped in a protective stabilization device to limit movement and allow the ENT to safely perform the procedure. A member of your ENT’s clinical staff will hold your child’s head when the ENT is performing wax removal and the tube replacement.

Is there any discomfort associated with this procedure?

Each patient will respond uniquely, but our data demonstrated that 100% of children in our study tolerated the procedure acceptably. Discomfort is similar to other routine in-office pediatric procedures. 

Is my child eligible for the procedure?

The Hummingbird is FDA 510(k) approved for in-office use in children 6 months and older. Please work with your ENT doctor to determine if the Hummingbird is right for your child.

Does my child need any pre-operative testing?

No; this is needed only when general anesthesia is used in hospitals.

Does my child need to be fasting?

No; general anesthesia will not be used.

Are there any precautions to observe after the procedure? Are meals okay?

Your child will able to return to normal activities following the procedure, except as specified by our clinical team.

What if my child’s procedure is not able to be completed in the office?

99% of patients successfully received ear tubes in the office. Very rarely, some circumstances require your ENT to stop the procedure and reschedule for the operating room. If this happens, your ENT will discuss options for the procedure.

How long will the ear tubes last?

The tubes will routinely stay in place on average for 11+ months before falling out on their own. However, some ear tubes fall out early, and 30% of children require a second set of ear tubes. Please speak with your ENT if you have additional questions on ear tube duration.

How much will the Hummingbird operation cost?

The final cost of the procedure will vary depending on your individual insurance coverage, deductible, and co-payment amounts. Your ENT may be able to provide a cost estimate. Your insurance plan may not cover the cost of the Hummingbird device at this time, however, patients may still see a lower overall out of pocket cost by doing the procedure in the physician’s office vs. the hospital operating room with general anesthesia.

Hummingbird Parent Experience

“We got hummingbird tubes for my son and it was a no brainer to do the same when my daughter needed tubes. We would do it again for our third child.”


Mother of Tucker

“Our son recovered immediately. And he was awesome for the rest of the day. The procedure was easy on my child and easy on me as a parent.”


Mother of Barrett

“No need for general anesthesia and arguably more important, no need to ask our toddler to fast before the procedure was completed! It was also much less expensive than traditional ear tubes.”


Father of Charlotte

“Couldn’t have been more amazed at how quick this procedure was. This has been a true life saver.”


Mother of Elaina

Get in touch with the Hummingbird team.

Fill out the form and someone from our team will get in touch ASAP to help you determine which ENTs in your area are currently offering the Hummingbird.

*This form is intended to request additional information on the Hummingbird procedure. If you need immediate medical assistance, please contact your doctor. Preceptis Medical is not a healthcare provider. Thank you!


8401 Wayzata Boulevard, Suite 110, Golden Valley, MN 55426

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Indications For Use: The Hummingbird® Tympanostomy Tube System (HTTS) is intended to deliver a tympanostomy tube (also referred to as a ventilation tube) through the tympanic membrane of the patient and is indicated to be used in office settings for children 6 months and older.

¹ Source: FDA Drug Safety Communication, 12-14-2016, FDA review results in new warnings about using general anesthetics and sedation drugs in young children and pregnant women
² Source: Results from Hummingbird In-Office Pediatric Clinical Study – results on file. 
³ Source: Practice Guidelines for Preoperative Fasting and the Use of Pharmacologic Agents to Reduce the Risk of Pulmonary Aspiration: Application to Healthy Patients Undergoing Elective Procedures. Anesthesiology 126(3); 376-393, 2017
⁴ Source: IBM Marketscan Commercial Claims and Medicaid Database