An otolaryngologist -- also called an ear, nose, and throat specialist -- completes procedures such as rhinoplasty surgery and endoscopic sinus surgery.

Otolaryngology: Reasons Why You May Need to See an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist

If you’ve been told you need to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist, you may be somewhat nervous. Some of the questions you may be asking yourself are, “What do otolaryngologists do? Isn’t their work usually serious? What will happen during my appointment? Should I be worried?”

Some of the cases that are sent to these specialists are serious, yes, but others are minor outpatient procedures intended to alleviate pain and discomfort. Following are some of the most common medical concerns that otolaryngologists may treat.

1. Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

An endoscope is an instrument with a camera that an otolaryngologist inserts into a patient’s nose in order to find blockages or other issues that may be causing a problem in the sinuses. Afterward, they can use lasers or other instruments to clear these blockages.

2. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux causes flare-ups in the nose and throat. Because these symptoms mirror the signs of some types of cancer, your general doctor may recommend that you see an otolaryngologist to confirm the cause of your symptoms.

3. Snoring or Sleep Apnea

Various treatments and surgical procedures can be used to address troublesome snoring or sleep apnea. These include removing tissue to open up the airway, making the palate stiffer, or inserting rods to reduce vibration and risk of collapse.

4. Excision and Biopsy

Excisions or biopsies involve removing a tumor in order to test it for cancer.

5. Blepharoplasty

This is a cosmetic procedure to repair droopy eyelids, especially those that may be affecting a patient’s vision.

6. Septoplasty

When the wall between the nostrils is displaced, it can cause nasal blockages. This “deviated septum” can be repaired with a septoplasty. A septoplasty may also be used to treat sinusitis or remove nasal polyps, which are benign growths in the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses.

7. Thyroid Surgery

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that is responsible for secreting hormones. Thyroid surgery, which may include completely removing the gland, may be required if cancer is suspected or if swelling of the gland is causing various health issues.

Procedures an otolaryngologist perform include myringotomies. In this image, a doctor is using a scope to look into a girl's ear.

An otolaryngologist performs procedures such as a myringotomy, which involves creating a surgical incision into the eardrum in order to relieve pressure or drain fluid.

8. Tonsillectomy or Adenoidectomy

A tonsillectomy is when your tonsils are removed due to infection or other problems. An adenoidectomy is used to remove adenoids for similar reasons. Adenoids are glands located in the roof of the mouth, while tonsils are soft tissues located at the rear of the throat.

9. Neck Dissection

Typically used to remove cancerous lymph nodes from the neck, this is a major surgery that is performed under general anesthesia. More extensive surgeries may involve removal of all tissue from the jawbone to the collarbone.

10. Myringotomy

A myringotomy is the process of creating a surgical incision into the eardrum in order to relieve pressure or drain fluid.

11. Tympanoplasty

Tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure used to repair a perforated eardrum. It entails placing a graft in order to close the perforation and improve hearing.

12. Tracheostomy

A tracheostomy involves surgically creating an opening in the neck leading directly to the breathing tube, called the trachea. It is maintained open with a tracheostomy tube.

For more information about conditions that may require you to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist, message us online or call UnaSource Surgery Center at (248) 265-4600.

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