Ear, Nose and Throat
Otolaryngologists treat these conditions and more…
Balance & hearing disorders
Middle or inner ear infections
Voice & swallowing disorders
Thyroid & Parathyroid
Head & neck tumors
Repair of facial fractures
Plastic surgery of head & neck
Skin cancers of head & neck
Emergency airway surgery
Milford Regional’s otolaryngologists or ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeons are highly trained to diagnose and treat disorders or diseases affecting the ears, sinuses, nose, voice box, mouth, throat, as well as cancers of the head and neck. The otolaryngologist’s offices are outfitted with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment which allows them to assess various factors that may contribute to your particular illness.
Our ENT physicians treat all age groups from children who may suffer from chronic infections in the ears or tonsils, to the elderly patient who is experiencing hearing loss. Many conditions can be treated medically before surgery is considered. If the physician determines that surgery is the best option, it is most often performed in our surgical day center allowing the patient to return home on the same day. The more complicated surgeries may require a short stay at the Medical Center.
Some of the more common conditions that are treated by our otolaryngologists and may require surgery include:
|Chronic infections||Head & neck cancer||Sleep apnea|
The most common conditions treated by our ENT physicians are chronic infections of the ears, tonsils and adenoids, and sinuses. Very common in young children, an ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Most often the infection is treated with antibiotics, but if the infection becomes chronic and the antibiotics don’t help, the doctor may recommend a surgical procedure that places a small ventilation tube in the eardrum to improve air flow and prevent fluid backup in the middle ear. For adults, this procedure can be done in the comfort of the physician’s office; for children, the procedure is performed in the operating room at the Medical Center.
Infected tonsils and/or adenoids are conditions we also often find in children. Tonsils and adenoids are part of our immune system that protects our upper respiratory tract. A child’s immune system is still developing which is why they often have difficulty fighting this type of infection. If the patient has recurring infections or large, obstructing tonsils and/or adenoids, the doctor may recommend the surgical removal of the tonsils and/or adenoids. This procedure is done in our surgical day center.
Sinusitis is an infection which causes swelling in the mucus membranes which line the sinus cavity. It is usually caused by a viral infection or nasal allergies or polyps and blocks the normal drainage into the throat. Acute sinusitis is treated with antibiotics. If the condition becomes chronic, surgery may be required.
Our ENT surgeons perform minimally invasive CT guided endoscopic sinus surgery to enlarge the openings of the sinuses. A tiny camera called an endoscope is inserted through the nose by the surgeon to see what is blocking the sinuses. Removal of polyps or a small amount of bone will often widen the sinus passage. This surgery is minimally invasive which allows for a much quicker recovery time and less pain than traditional surgery and it is performed in our same-day surgery center.
Our ENT surgeons manage the care for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer in the head or neck. This would include cancer in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat or larynx (voicebox). Using a team approach with colleagues from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Milford, the ENT surgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist will determine the best course of treatment for each patient. The treatment plan depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the person’s age and general health. If it is decided that surgery is necessary, you will be admitted to our Medical Center for a short stay and your ENT surgeon will perform the surgery.
Rehabilitation is a very important part of treatment for patients with head and neck cancer. The goals of rehabilitation depend on the extent of the disease and the treatment a patient has received. The health care team makes every effort to help the patient return to normal activities as soon as possible. Depending on the location of the cancer and the type of treatment, rehabilitation may include physical therapy, speech therapy or swallowing therapy.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to awaken often during the night, and to stop breathing for a moment, several times during the sleep cycle. Breathing pauses can last for a few seconds to a minute and can happen several times an hour. The most common type, obstructive sleep apnea, usually means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. Small children may have enlarged tonsil tissues and/or adenoids in their throats, which can lead to obstructive sleep apnea.
Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle changes such as weight reduction, the use of breathing devices such as a CPAP machine, or a dental device. If these treatments are not successful, surgery may be the best option. If you have a deviated septum, nasal surgery (septoplasty) may be performed to correct a nasal obstruction. The nasal septum is the wall between the two nasal passages and a deviated septum means that the septum is not straight which can cause snoring and sleep apnea. Otherwise, a procedure called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is often recommended. This surgery removes soft tissue on the back of the throat and palate, increasing the width of the airway at the throat opening.
Presented by Dr. Mark Wallace
UPPP and Away – Treatment for Severe Sleep Apnea
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