- 7 Things Your Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor Wants You to Know
- What do otolaryngologists do?
- 1) Blepharoplasty
- 2) Endoscopic sinus surgery
- 3) Excision and biopsy
- 4) Facial plastic surgery
- 5) Myringotomy and pressure equalization (PE) tube placement
- 6) Neck dissection
- 7) Septoplasty
- 8) Surgery for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- 9) Thyroid Surgery
- 10) Tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy
- 11) Tracheostomy
- 12) Tympanoplasty
- ENT Clinic
- Get ENT Treatment on Saturdays
- What Is an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT)?
- What to bring
7 Things Your Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor Wants You to Know
1. “ENT issues are very common.” https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1496×1001%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F62%2F4f%2F85d1ab2a4ddbb52c8dbb6f05e193%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-doctor-examining-mans-neck.jpg
“So many people, I feel, have simply learned to live with their conditions and relegated themselves to a subpar quality of life because of this,” says Dr. Tim Simplot, a board-certified otolaryngologist at the Iowa ENT Center. “People often think of ENT doctors as only dealing with tonsil issues and ear tubes. We are so much more and can offer many more services to help people feel their best,” Dr. Simplot says.”Patients are always amazed when I show them how much better their breathing can be through the nose with easy interventions. The looks on people’s faces can be very rewarding when you first truly open the nose up and show them what real airflow is meant to be.”
2. “ENT complaints are often very treatable.” https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1494×999%2B2%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fb9%2Ff3%2F895cf40f4f439d6cb02d6879be7d%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-gettyimages-156851245.jpg
“People should know that we are surgeons and not just medical practitioners,” says Dr. Brian Moore, chairman of Ear Nose and Throat at Ochsner Health System. “In addition to treating common ailments of the head and neck, like sinus infections and hearing loss, ENT physicians also perform surgery on the face, nose/sinuses, throat, thyroid and parathyroid glands, salivary glands, and soft tissues of the neck,” Dr. Moore says. “This includes the removal of benign and malignant tumors of the mouth and throat, thyroid/parathyroid glands, salivary glands, and skin cancers. hearing loss and ear-related procedures, facial reconstruction for congenital, traumatic, or cancer-related problems, and voice and swallowing disorders.”
3. “ENTs are surgeons.” https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1494×999%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fb9%2Ff4%2Fe9cd63e24d6ca481b169191513c0%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-surgeons.jpg
“We are not just a surgical specialty,” says Dr. Tran. “Most ear, nose and throat problems can be handled successfully with non-surgical options. A knowledgeable ENT doctor can provide a full spectrum of treatment options and address the patient’s concerns.”
4. “But we do a lot of non-surgical work, too.” https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1496×1001%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fd4%2F40%2F8e2b82bd4163aab1a780798cae5b%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-child-with-doctor.jpg
“Otolaryngologists treat patients with both medical and surgical therapies,” says Dr. Cristina Cabrera-Muffly, assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “For example, patients with nasal congestion may have allergies, a deviated septum (where the cartilage that divides the two sides of the nose curves to one side or the other), sinusitis, or a combination of these problems,” Dr. Cabrera-Muffly says. “Depending on what the problem is, we can treat these patients with medications, allergy shots, or surgery to make more room inside the nose and relieve symptoms.”
5. “Sometimes treatment requires both surgery and medication.” https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1491×997%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Ff6%2Fc9%2F937ceb1249cbb5ba880c7b0f4c63%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-patient-and-doctor.jpg
“Within the field of otolaryngology, there are fellowship-trained specialties such as pediatrics, sleep apnea, laryngology (voice conditions), sinus surgery, neurotology (ear problems), facial plastic surgery and head and neck cancer,” says Dr. Tran. “I recommend that patients look for a doctor who has experience in your specific condition. Also, it is good to have a trusting relationship with your ENT doctor. So make sure to express your concerns and questions so there can be a two-way conversation.”
6. “ENTs specialize, so find the right one for you.” https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1496×1001%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F30%2F12%2Fd6d1579b435480c17f978c03afe2%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-teen-girl-has-ear-examined.jpg
“Technology has greatly expanded the treatments available for our patients,” says Dr. Cabrera-Muffly. “For many years now, cameras and microscopes have helped us do surgery in the ear, nose and throat without any external scars. Hearing aids have become digital, much smaller, and more effective. Cochlear implants allow us to treat patients with severe hearing loss,” she says. “One of the newest innovations is a hypoglossal nerve stimulator that can be used to treat sleep apnea. This device brings the tongue forward when the patient is sleeping to decrease the collapse in the throat that causes blockage in patients with sleep apnea.” Dr. Tran adds, “The trend is moving towards offering minimally invasive options that can be performed in the office, such as in-office balloon dilation for sinus obstruction and laser treatment for vocal cord lesions.”
7. “Technology is changing everything.” https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F79%2F37%2F33d632c24e488f54a8b9d378cd44%2Fimage-getty-489256888.jpg
What do otolaryngologists do?
Otolaryngologists must be able to perform a wide range of procedures to address the large number of medical problems within their specialty.
These procedures range in scale and complexity, from complex microvascular reconstruction to surgery that encompasses the entire neck.
The following list of procedures offers an overview of the vast scope of their work.
This is the repair of droopy eyelids by removing excess skin, muscle, or fat that may be impairing vision. This procedure often occurs for cosmetic reasons and rarely requires a hospital stay.
2) Endoscopic sinus surgery
An otolaryngologist often performs this to treat infectious and inflammatory sinus diseases, such as chronic sinusitis or polyp growth. Otolaryngologists insert an instrument called an endoscope into the nose, which allows them to look at the sinuses.
They can then insert and use surgical instruments, including lasers, in order to remove material that is blocking the sinuses. The procedure can occur under local or general anesthetic.
3) Excision and biopsy
A surgeon will perform a biopsy to identify suspicious lesions and tumors. These can develop anywhere in the body, and identification is essential for defining an effective course of treatment.
They can often perform the removal of small lesions and superficial skin cancers under local anesthetic in an outpatient setting.
4) Facial plastic surgery
This type of surgery can be either reconstructive or cosmetic. Otolaryngologists can repair congenital anomalies, such as cleft palates, or conditions that are the result of accidents, previous surgery, or skin cancer.
They can also enhance the appearance of the facial structures, including the correction of wrinkles.
5) Myringotomy and pressure equalization (PE) tube placement
Share on PinterestOtolaryngologists can perform a range of ear surgeries.
For people experiencing recurrent middle ear infections or hearing loss due to fluid in the ear, the surgeon can place tubes through the eardrum to allow air into the middle ear.
PE tubes can be short- or long-term.
A myringotomy is a procedure in which the otolaryngologist makes a small incision in the eardrum to relieve pressure resulting from the excessive build-up of fluid.
They can also help to drain pus from the middle ear.
6) Neck dissection
This is a major form of surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes from the neck, performed under general anesthetic. The extent of the surgery depends on the spread of the cancer.
Radical neck dissection requires the removal of all tissue from the jawbone to the collarbone on the side of the neck, along with the muscles, nerves, salivary glands, and major blood vessels from this area.
This is surgery to correct a deviated septum or to allow greater nasal access nose for the removal of polyps. The procedure can take place under local or general anesthetic and involves the otolaryngologist separating the lining of the nasal passage from underlying cartilage.
They will then straighten the bent cartilage as necessary.
8) Surgery for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
Otolaryngologists have a number of surgical solutions for snoring and OSA. They can remove excess soft palate tissue to open up the airway, such as with radiofrequency thermal ablation to reduce tissue bulk.
They can also make the palate stiffer with injections or by inserting stiffening rods to reduce vibration and the risk of collapse.
9) Thyroid Surgery
The thyroid sits just below the larynx. Otolaryngologists can remove all or part or all of the thyroid gland in cases of thyroid cancer, suspicious lumps, obstruction of the windpipe or esophagus, or hyperthyroidism.
10) Tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy
Tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of tonsils, and adenoidectomy is surgical removal of the adenoids. They are commonly necessary for treating recurrent infections or breathing problems.
The procedure typically occurs under general anesthetic, but the patient will not usually need to stay in the hospital.
This is a procedure to create an opening through the neck into the windpipe. The otolaryngologist can insert a tube into this opening to provide an airway or remove secretions from the lungs.
Tracheostomy may be necessary to treat several health problems, including cancer of the neck and severe laryngeal disease.
This type of surgery can repair any defect in the eardrum with a graft or address middle-ear bone disease. Tympanoplasty serves to close perforations, improve hearing, and eradicate disease from the middle ear.
The procedure can take place in an outpatient setting.
You wake up every morning at 8:00. Only today, you didn’t wake up feeling so great. You woke up feeling like total crap. Your head hurts. Your nose is stuffy and runny. Your throat is sore. Your lymph nodes are tender.
And you’re wondering what on earth you did to deserve this cruel and unusual punishment.
You are pretty sure you have a cold. No, wait; maybe it’s the flu. It is allergy season. Maybe it’s sinus cancer?
There’s only one thing for you to do: call up your local ENT clinic and pray to the ear, nose, and throat gods for an open appointment. That’s when you realize that it’s Saturday, but no worries…
Get ENT Treatment on Saturdays
And on Sundays, Tuesdays, and all days of the week, too. Our urgent care clinics provide treatment for a variety of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, including those of the the ears, nose, and throat.
Some common ENT problems that can be treated at your local FastMed include:
- Sore throat and strep throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Runny and stuffy nose
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
If you are experiencing ear, nose, or throat problems, your first instinct might be to call up your local ENT clinic and make an appointment. Waiting for your ENT clinic to have an open appointment can take a long time, and if your condition requires prompt medical treatment, waiting too long to be seen could make it worse.
FastMed’s service is fast. That’s why we put it in our name. We strive to have all of our patients in and out within an hour. If you’re sick on a Saturday morning, or any other day of the year, come to FastMed. We’ll get you back home and feeling like great in no time.
What Is an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT)?
ENT physicians must complete about 15 years of education and training, including a 4-year undergraduate program, 4-year medical program, at least 5 years of specialty training and a 1- to 2-year residency program (e.g., General Surgery). Then, physicians must undergo peer evaluations and pass oral and written examinations administered by the American Board of Otolaryngology.
After attaining board certification, otolaryngologists may pursue a one- or two- year fellowship for extensive training and examinations in a subspecialty area. Otolaryngology subspecialties include:
- Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Head and Neck Surgery
- Pediatric Otolaryngology
- Sleep Medicine
Board certification is valid for 10 years. To revalidate their certification, ENTs must meet guidelines established by the American Board of Medical Specialties and complete a Maintenance of Certification Program. This process emphasizes professional standing, lifelong learning and self-assessment, cognitive expertise and evaluation of performance in practice.
Recertification requirements include:
- Valid certificate issued by the American Board of Otolaryngology
- Valid, unrestricted medical license
- Privileges to practice otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in accredited hospital or surgical center
- Completion of required CME credits
- Successful completion of the American Board of Otolaryngology self-assessment module
- Maintenance of Certification Examination
Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com
Published: 24 Jan 2012
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2015
What to bring
Every time you come
- Medicare card
- Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
- Private health insurance card (if applicable/if you want to use it)
- Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
- Previous x-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results or reports
- Medicines you need to take while you are here
- List of medicines you are currently taking (or the boxes), including medicines you have bought without a prescription, such as herbal supplements and vitamins
- Glasses, hearing aid, walking frame
For a clinic appointment
- Your appointment letter
- Any special items listed on your letter
- TAC or Workcover claim number (if relevant)
For an overnight (or longer) stay
- Dressing gown and slippers, or comfortable day clothes and shoes
- Personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, shaving cream, shaver, toothpaste and deodorant
- Something to do, like a book, a magazine or an iPad/tablet with headphones
Don’t bring (for an overnight or longer stay)
- Your handbag, wallet, purse or large amounts of cash
- Valuables, such as jewellery or watches