Our physicians are specially trained to diagnose and treat the unique ear, nose and throat conditions that can affect children. Treatments vary depending on the condition type and severity. Based on the child's diagnosis, our specialists will determine what treatment plan is most beneficial for the health and well-being of the patient. In some cases, medications can effectively treat certain conditions. In other cases, an in-office procedure or surgery will need to be performed. Some examples of the types of procedures/surgeries we preform are as follows:
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, caused by a virus or bacteria. This condition is common in children and spreads through contact with throat or nasal fluids. The tonsils become swollen, red and painful and may be coated with a yellow or white substance. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by a virus, although it can sometimes be caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat. Tonsillitis symptoms can include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever and/or swollen lymph nodes. Your physician will usually be able to identify tonsillitis by finding red and swollen tonsils with spots or sores on them. A rapid strep throat test may also be performed to determine the cause. Tonsillitis can usually be treated at home through rest and drinking plenty of liquids. Antibiotics may be prescribed for bacterial infections. Surgery to remove the tonsils may be recommended if a child has recurrent throat infections or one persistent infection.
Similar to tonsillitis, the adenoid glands can sometimes become swollen and enlarged or chronically infected. This can be due to several factors, including allergies and infections. Large adenoids can potentially block a child's airway, causing breathing problems, ear infections or other complications which could lead to sleep apnea. Other problems that can occur from enlarged adenoids are chronic nasal drainage, congestion and sinus infections. Recurrent ear infections and chronic fluid in the ear is also something to look out for, and these symptoms can result in temporary hearing loss. As a result, surgery to remove the glands is often needed in such cases.
A frenulectomy can involve the upper lip and tongue. If a child's frenum is too tight, tough and/or short, it can hinder movement that enables the child to talk and/or eat normally. This can also hinder development, which can cause aesthetic issues. In such cases, a frenulectomy may be warranted to free up movement.
Obstructions within the airway, which may occur in the trachea, voice box (larynx) or throat (pharynx) are often serious conditions that can lead to difficulty breathing, choking, difficulty swallowing, wheezing and other troubling symptoms. These blockages may develop as a result of an allergic reaction, infection, trauma, foreign body, cancer or other diseases that prevent air from flowing normally through the passage. In order to relieve these symptoms and restore proper breathing, airway reconstruction may be needed. There are several different procedures that may be performed to correct these blockages, including tracheoscopy, laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, tracheotomy, laryngotracheoplasty and others. Airway reconstruction procedures may be performed using open or endoscopic techniques, depending on the type of procedure being performed and the severity of the child's condition. Open procedures involve making an incision in the neck to access the airway, while endoscopic procedures are performed through the mouth and do not require any incision.
When long-term chronic sinus infections have been treated with medication unsuccessfully, sinus surgery may be needed to open the passages of the nose and sinuses. The type of sinus surgery needed will vary patient-to-patient, but can include balloon sinus dilation, functional endoscopic sinus surgery or removal of the adenoids.
Otology involves the diagnosis and treatment of ear diseases, including tinnitus, ear infections (otitis media), and congenital cholesteatomas, congenital sensorineural hearing loss, congenital syndromes, and others. These conditions may cause symptoms such as ear pain, headaches, fever, dizziness, hearing loss and discharge. Many ear conditions are especially common in children, who may require special care for their condition. Treatment for these conditions often involves hearing aids, ear tubes, medication, surgery or other approaches.
Head & Neck Surgery
Surgery of the head and neck is done to treat various injuries, disorders or diseases. One common condition in children that involves swelling that changes the shape of the neck is a neck mass. Neck masses do not usually cause any symptoms and often disappear on their own, although they should be evaluated by a specialist to determine if treatment is necessary. There are several different types of common neck masses, including:
- Branchial Cleft Cyst – formation of tissue that forms on the neck during embryonic development after failure to develop normally
- Reactive Lymph Nodes – enlarged lymph nodes that develop as a reaction to an infection or autoimmune condition
- Lymphoma – cancerous mass that develops in the lymph nodes due to DNA damage or changes
- Thyroglossal Duct Cyst – develops from the cells and tissues that remain after the thyroid gland forms during embryonic development
Neck masses that last more than a few weeks should undergo diagnostic testing. Depending on the type, size and location of the mass, your physician may perform an imaging exam such as an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI for a magnified view of the mass, or a biopsy to test for any cancerous cells.
Treatment for a pediatric neck mass can vary depending on each individual lesion, but may include regular observation to detect any growth or abnormalities, antibiotics for infected masses or resection to surgically remove the mass and reduce the risk of cancer or other complications.