BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the relationship between age and anesthesia method used for tympanostomy tube insertion (TTI) and to provide evidence to guide the selection of an appropriate anesthesia method in children. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of children under 15 years of age who underwent tympanostomy tube insertion (n=159) or myringotomy alone (n=175) under local or general anesthesia by a single surgeon at a university-based, secondary care referral hospital. Epidermiologic data between local and general anesthesia groups as well as between TTI and myringotomy were analyzed. Medical costs were compared between local and general anesthesia groups. RESULTS: Children who received local anesthesia were significantly older than those who received general anesthesia. Unilateral tympanostomy tube insertion was performed more frequently under local anesthesia than bilateral. Logistic regression modeling showed that local anesthesia was more frequently applied in older children (odds ratio=1.041) and for unilateral tympanostomy tube insertion (odds ratio=8.990). The cut-off value of age for local anesthesia was roughly 5 years. CONCLUSIONS: In a pediatric population at a single medical center, age and whether unilateral or bilateral procedures were required were important factors in selecting an anesthesia method for tympanostomy tube insertion. Our findings suggest that local anesthesia can be preferentially considered for children 5 years of age or older, especially in those with unilateral otitis media with effusion.