Pediatric ENT Procedures

Pediatric ENT:
Children are often more susceptible to ENT conditions than adults. Kids are commonly affected by chronic ear infections, tonsillitis and recurrent respiratory tract infections. We are specially trained to diagnose and treat these unique conditions that affect children. We strive to provide the most effective treatment when taking into consideration the comfort of our patients and the concerns of their parents.

Tonsillectomy:
A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils (two oval-shaped pads located in the back of the throat on each side). A tonsillectomy is needed when an individual has recurring episodes of tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) or an infection that has not gotten better with other treatment. In some cases, a tonsillectomy may be performed if enlarged tonsils block normal breathing. This can lead to problems such as sleep apnea and difficulty eating. Occasionally, a tonsillectomy may be performed to treat cancer.

A tonsillectomy is much more common for children than for adults. The surgery is most often an outpatient procedure and uses a general anesthetic for children. Adults may require only a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Adenoidectomy:
An adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoid glands. Adenoids are small lumps of tissue in the back of the throat that help fight ear, nose, and throat infections. The majority of adenoidectomies are performed in children. The adenoids usually shrink by adolescence, so adults rarely undergo the procedure.

An adenoidectomy may be needed if the adenoids become infected and swell up, blocking the nose and making it difficult to breathe. Swollen adenoids may also result in sleep apnea, chronic snoring, ear infections, and difficulty swallowing. Adenoidectomies are usually performed on an outpatient basis using a general anesthetic.

PE Tubes:
These are used to drain fluid from the ear and keep the air full of air. This returns hearing to normal. They remain in place for 1-2 years and fall out on their own. Water must be kept out of the ears while tubes are in place.

Sleep Apnea:
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that involves repeated breathing interruptions during sleep that may occur hundred of times each night as a result of structural abnormalities or brain malfunctions. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form, occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat closes, blocking (obstructing) the person’s airway. The airway remains open in central sleep apnea, but the brain does not send signals to the muscles involved in breathing. Mixed sleep apnea combines aspects of the obstructive and central types. A common warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring (especially snoring interspersed with gasps or lack of breathing) although it is not always as a result of sleep apnea.

There are a variety of treatments available for sleep apnea, including oral appliance therapy, mandibular repositioning, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, nasal surgery and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).