General ENT Procedures

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.

Swollen adenoids are often associated with tonsillitis and may be removed as part of an operation to remove the tonsils. This procedure is called an adenotonsillectomy.


Vocal Fold/Laryngoscopy

A laryngoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that examines the voice box (larynx), which contains the vocal cords, by placing mirrors and a light source at the back of the throat, or by inserting a thin, flexible tube called a laryngoscope down the throat to produce images. This procedure can be performed for many reasons, including to diagnose a persistent cough, hoarseness or bad breath, to detect a mass or tumor on the vocal cords, diagnose cancer or diagnose voice problems. 

Depending on the type of procedure being performed, your doctor may shine a light and reflect a mirror onto the back of the throat, or may insert a laryngoscope through the mouth and down the throat to produce images of the vocal cords, larynx and hypopharynx. This procedure does not usually cause any pain for patients, but may be uncomfortable, so local anesthesia may be administered. 

The results of the laryngoscope procedure are available right away and can be reviewed with the patient after the procedure. Your doctor may also analyze these results later on to detect any abnormalities within the throat and vocal cords. Patients may experience a sore throat after this procedure, which can be relieved by sucking on throat lozenges or taking pain medication. 


Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure used to remove excess tissue in the throat to widen the airway. This allows air to move through the throat more easily when you breathe, reducing snoring and sleep apnea. The tissues removed during UPPP may include:

  • The uvula (the small piece of finger-like tissue that hands at the back of the throat)
  • All or part of the soft palate (the soft part of the roof of the mouth)
  • Excess throat tissue, tonsils, and adenoids

Stapedectomy

Stapedectomy is a surgical procedure in which the innermost bone (stapes) of the three middle ear bones is removed and replaced with a prosthesis (a small plastic tube surrounding a stainless-steel wire). This is performed to improve the movement of sound to the inner ear.

A stapedectomy treats progressive hearing loss caused by otosclerosis, a condition in which spongy bone hardens around the base of the stapes. Otosclerosis causes the stapes to adhere to the opening of the inner ear, preventing the stapes from vibrating properly and disrupting the transmission of sound to the inner ear. If otosclerosis remains untreated, it often results in complete deafness, usually in both ears.


Tympanoplasty

Tympanoplasty is reconstructive surgery for torn tympanic membranes (eardrums) or ossicles (middle ear bones). Eardrum tears may result from chronic infection or, less commonly, from trauma to the eardrum. Tympanoplasty can also help to restore hearing, treat certain types of deafness, and prevent middle ear infections.

Tympanoplasty can be performed through the ear canal or through an incision behind the ear. Tympanic membrane grafting may be required, in which a graft is taken from tissue under the skin around the ear to reconstruct the eardrum. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local or general anesthetic.


Myringotomy

A myringotomy is a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made in the tympanic membrane (eardrum) to remove fluid such as blood, pus, or water from the middle ear. The fluid is usually caused by an infection or allergies. In many cases, a small ear tube is inserted into the eardrum to maintain the drainage.

A myringotomy is performed to relieve pressure due to chronic fluid buildup in the middle ear that has not responded to other treatments. Although some adults may undergo this operation, myringotomies are most often performed on children. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis with a general anesthetic. Some adults may only require a local anesthetic.


Pediatric ENT

Although children are often affected by the same ear, nose and throat conditions as adults, they often require special care to treat these complex conditions. Children are often more susceptible to ENT conditions and are commonly affected by chronic ear infections, tonsillitis, congenital defects, voice and speech disorders, sleep apnea and more. Our doctors are specially trained to diagnose and treat the unique conditions that affect children. We strive to provide the most effective treatment while taking into consideration the comfort of our patients and concerns of their parents.

If you are interested in learning more about any of our General ENT Procedures, call 201-489-6520 today to schedule an appointment.

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