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If you or your child has frequent ear infections, if fluid is affecting hearing, or if ear infections don't respond to antibiotics, then pressure equalization, or PE tube surgery, may be recommended. During this procedure, which in children often requires brief general anesthesia, a surgeon will remove the fluid from the middle ear and insert a small pressure equalization tube. This will allow air to fill the middle ear, and allow any future fluid to drain. Over time, the tubes will come out on their own, and the drainage holes will heal. This usually occurs within a year.