The Harrow Health Care Centre

Ear Wax Removal In Harrow North West London

What is Microsuction ear wax removal?

Microsuction ear wax removal is a technique for removing ear wax that uses either a binocular operating microscope (which allows for depth-perception and magnification), or specialised magnification loupes, similar to ones dentists and vascular/plastic surgeons use.

These instruments allow the clinician to look in the ear canal in great detail and use a very fine sterile suction device at low pressure to remove the wax – not dissimilar to using a tiny vacuum cleaner inside the ear to remove the wax.

Using microsuction means that we can visualise the external ear canal and its contents in great detail with minimal need to touch the earlobe, making the procedure more comfortable for patients.

Occasionally, we may need to use other instruments to remove particularly hard wax, such as Jobson Horne probes, hooks, or micro forceps).

Common Questions About Ear Microsuction ​

It varies from patient to patient. Some are unlucky and develop a lot of wax in their ear canal, with subsequent blockages (as often as every 3-6 months), which means they may require ear microsuction every 4-6 months.

Ear syringing typically can’t be carried out as often, as the water flushed into the ear during the procedure has to hit the sensitive ear canal and delicate eardrum, which then needs time to recover. In contrast, microsuction means we can latch onto the ear wax to pull it out, while very soft wax will simply be sucked up by the suction probe, meaning the procedure can be carried out as often as necessary.

We also use ear microsuction to treat outer ear infections. This helps us to remove debris or pus from the canal so that antibiotic drops can do their job more effectively.

Softening ear wax before microsuction is not essential, but using olive oil drops or sodium bicarbonate drops to soften the wax before the procedure may make it faster and more comfortable.

While preparation is not mandatory, 2-3 days of olive oil (not sodium bicarb or otex!) soaks at night prior to the appointment can help make the procedure more comfortable.

Children over 4/5yo can have microsuction, but it is not within our control whether the child will tolerate the procedure/stay still. You will still be charged for the appointment even if we are unable to perform the procedure – usually this will result in a longer appointment while we try to perform it and also likely a referral to ENT to perform under anaesthesia if appropriate (e.g. for foreign bodies)

Yes – ear microsuction is perfectly suited and highly recommended for patients who have had ear surgery in the past, such as: mastoidectomy, eardrum repair, grommet insertion, stapedectomy, and refashioning of the ear canal.

Yes – microsuction ear wax removal is the safest method of cleaning the ears if you have a perforated eardrum. Patients who have perforated eardrums must not have their ears irrigated with water or syringed.

Yes – you can travel by plane after undergoing ear microsuction (unless you’ve been advised not to fly due to other medical reasons).

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