Overview of a pediatric otolaryngologist
If your child needs surgical or complex medical treatment for illnesses or problems affecting the ear, nose, or throat, a pediatric otolaryngologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child. Many general otolaryngologists provide surgical care for children. However, in many areas of the country, more specialized otolaryngology care is available for children.
What type of training do pediatric otolaryngologists have?
Pediatric otolaryngologists are doctors who have had
- At least 4 years of medical school.
- One year of surgical practice.
- Often 1 additional year of general surgery residency training.
- At smallest 3 to 4 additional years of placement training in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery.
- Pediatric otolaryngologists often complete additional training in fellowship programs at a medical centre for older children.
Pediatric otolaryngologists treat children from the neonatal period through adolescence. They choose to make pediatric care the centre of their medical practice, and the unique nature of children’s medical and surgical care is learned from advanced training and hands-on experience.
Procedures and treatments do a pediatric otolaryngologist performs
Pediatric otolaryngologists are qualified in both medical and surgical treatments. Common procedures and treatments include:
- Airway procedures including bronchoscopy and tracheostomy
- Allergy treatments, including medications and immunotherapy (allergy shots)
- Cancer treatments counting chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
- Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, including rhinoplasty (“nose surgery”), otoplasty (pinning the ears back), and cleft lip and palate repair (palatoplasty)
- Ear surgery including cochlear implants, a myringotomy (small incisions in the eardrum to relieve pressure), and tympanoplasty (reconstruction of the eardrum and middle ear).
- Endocrine surgery, including surgery of the thyroid gland and parathyroid glands.
- Treatments for GERD including medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery
- Laryngeal (laryngeal) procedures including voice therapy, phono surgery (surgery to correct the production of voice or sound), and laryngectomy (removal of the larynx)
- Nasal treatments counting medicine, balloon sinuplasty, and septoplasty (straightening of the nasal septum).
- Tongue and throat treatments, including medications, tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and surgery to correct sleep apnea and snoring.
Tests can pediatric otolaryngologist perform or order
A pediatric otolaryngologist can instructor perform an extensive variety of diagnostic and screening tests, including:
- Biopsies, including removal of tissue from the thyroid or other areas of the head and neck.
- General health tests including a physical examination of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck, blood test, bacterial cultures including group A Streptococcus, and skin tests with allergy patches.
- GERD tests including pH probe, barium swallow or upper GI series, gastric emptying study with technetium, and endoscopy with biopsy
- Imaging tests including X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans.
- Scoping tests including endoscopy, otoscopy (of the ear), bronchoscopy (of the airways and lungs), and laryngoscopy (of the back of the throat and larynx).
What types of treatments do provide?
Pediatric otolaryngologists are primarily concerned with the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat in children. Pediatric otolaryngologists generally provide the following services:
- Diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, and throat illnesses and head and neck diseases.
- Head and neck surgery, including care before and after surgery
- Consult with other doctors when ear, nose, or throat diseases are detected.
- Assistance in identifying communication disorders in children.
What conditions can a pediatric otolaryngologist treat?
A pediatric otolaryngologist treats conditions and diseases including:
- Ear conditions including ear infections, hearing loss, balance disorders, ruptured eardrum, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), cholesteatoma (abnormal skin growth in the ear), benign (noncancerous) growths, and congenital disorders and deformities of the outer and inner ear
- Head and neck conditions including tumours of the parotid, thyroid and parathyroid glands, sleep apnea, head or neck masses, hemangiomas (benign blood vessel tumours) and vascular malformations; and facial irregularities, deformities or injuries
- Nose conditions including sinusitis, deviated septum, chronic or recurring nosebleeds, nasal polyps, nasal obstructions, and loss of smell