Minnesota company's new device promises easier childhood ear surgery


A Minnesota company's new medical device will soon make one of the country's most common childhood surgeries much easier – not only for your child, but possibly also for your pocketbook.

Invented by Plymouth-based Preceptis Medical, the Hummingbird Tympanostomy Tube System is designed to perform ear tube insertion – necessary for young patients with serious ear infections and other issues – quickly and in many cases without putting the child under anesthesia.

Having recently been given approval by the Food and Drug Administration, the device should be available in hospitals across the country in the spring of 2016, a Preceptis spokesperson told BringMeTheNews.

This is a potential coup for many families, as the device allows for moderate sedation (like laughing gas) as opposed to being "put under" with full-on anesthesia – something many parents of small children are not comfortable with, KSTP reports.

Additionally, the station says, this means the procedure can be performed outside the operating room, cutting costs for the hospital and the patient's family as well.

Preceptis says Hummingbird is the first such device cleared by the FDA for mild sedation.

Easier surgery

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the ear tube procedure typically involves the insertion of tiny cylinders through the ear drum, allowing air into the middle ear.

The organization says the ventilation tubes often become necessary when the patient suffers frequent ear infections, or has hearing loss due to a buildup of middle ear fluid – something that commonly occurs in children.

The website adds that it's the most common childhood surgery performed with anesthesia.

According to the Preceptis website, the Hummingbird device allows doctors to insert ear tubes "with less steps" and in "less time," so the patients typically will need only light sedation.

The company stresses, however, that for the time being, an anesthesiologist will be involved in the procedure and the operating room will still be an option, depending on the patient.

When will it be available?

While the FDA greenlit Hummingbird in April, the company is still conducting clinical trials with patients at four Minnesota hospitals (including the Mayo Clinic and at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital).

In the meantime, Preceptis says patients interested in the procedure can seek treatment at those hospitals with medical approval.

Next Up

Pexels - child student school mask covid temperature

95 Minnesota schools have 5+ COVID cases, 2 more school staffers die

There have been 10 school employees who have died from COVID during the pandemic.

School lunch cafeteria flickr

MPS changes course, will provide meals to Edison students for distance learning

The district had initially said meals would not be offered during the remote learning period.


Highest county case rates in Minnesota remain in rural areas

Just one of the seven metro counties have a case rate above 30.

st. paul guns 1

Charges: Teen tried to pull 2 guns on St. Paul officers during arrest

Police are asking for help in reducing the number of illegal guns on city streets.

Russell Wilson

Coller: Where does Russ rank among cursed Vikings things?

Matthew Coller's work can be found daily at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 12.16.08 PM

Missing: 13-year-old girl last seen in Willmar on September 11

Police say she ran away from a girls group home.

rochester school board meeting mask

Ban for those who don't wear masks at Rochester School Board meetings

The board will have people trespassed, which comes with a one year ban from all school property.

Target store snow

Target to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for 2021 holiday season

The Minnesota retailer has seen its business surge during the pandemic.

Darren McWright Osborne - Dunn County WI - crop

Father of man accused in quadruple slaying now charged

The victims were found dead in an SUV that had been abandoned in a Wisconsin cornfield.

michaels brooklyn center

Brooklyn Center PD, Michaels discriminated against Black teen, state finds

The boy had gone to apply for a job. Instead a manager called 911 and he was arrested.