Head & Neck Surgery

Although many conditions affecting the ears, nose, or throat can be treated non-surgically, otolaryngology is a surgical specialty. Our ENTs perform a broad range of procedures, from minimally invasive in-office procedures to open surgery requiring hospitalization.

Balloon Sinuplasty

This cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic sinusitis is performed to clear the passage of air through the sinuses. It allows our ENT surgeons to clear the nasal pathway and restore normal drainage without having to remove tissue

Canalplasty

After years of frequent exposure to cold water, the bone of the ear canal expands to form lumps (exostoses) that narrow the ear canal, a condition known as surfer’s ear. This can lead to chronic outer ear infections and hearing loss. Canalplasty corrects this by drilling out the exostoses to re-create a normal ear canal.

Ear Tube Surgery

When blood, pus, or water accumulates in the middle ear space, it causes congestion. This common procedure involves slipping a tiny hollow tube through an incision in the eardrum to drain the accumulated fluid. Adults can be helped in the office; children are usually treated as outpatients.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (minimally invasive)

When medical treatments fail to cure chronic sinusitis, our doctors may recommend minimally invasive endoscopic sinus surgery. This surgical procedure utilizes computer-guided navigation and fiber-optic scopes for visualization inside the nasal passages. Without using incisions, the sinus’ natural drainage pathways are widened to allow removal of infected mucous and polyps. The surgery relieves sinus headaches and congestion, improves nasal breathing, removes polyps if present, and often enhances the sense of smell.

Facial Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell cancer and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and easily cured. While it never spreads to other areas of the body, it can lead to significant deformity if left untreated. Squamous cell cancer and melanoma, have the potential to spread elsewhere in the body and must be are caught before this happens. Again, when treated early these types of cancer can be easily cured. Often located on sun-exposed areas of the face, skin cancers may ulcerate, bleed, or crust over. Occasionally, there is some itching or mild discomfort. A melanoma usually presents as a brown, purple, or black. Any mole that has irregular borders or color variations should be evaluated by a physician to rule out melanoma. If a skin cancer is diagnosed, our surgeons can remove it in either in the office or in the operating room. For larger lesions, a skin graft or rotation of surrounding skin may be required to achieve closure. Our surgeons, specifically trained in facial plastic surgery techniques to obtain the best possible cosmetic outcome.

Mastoidectomy

Located behind the ear, the mastoid bone connects to the middle ear and contains many air-filled spaces. Infection or disease elsewhere in the ear can cause those spaces to fill with fluid, or mucus. Another potential problem is cholesteatoma, a benign tumor that can grow out of a perforated ear drum as it heals and cause hearing damage. If non-surgical treatments fail to resolve the problem, mastoidectomy—surgical drainage —may be performed.

Neck Dissection for Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Hundreds of small lymph nodes are located throughout the neck and play a role in fighting infections of the head and neck. The lymph nodes also are typically the first place that a head and neck cancer will spread. When a cancer extends to the neck lymph nodes or there is a high chance of undetected microscopic spread, a neck dissection may be part of the treatment plan. In this procedure, the surgeon removes all of the fatty tissue of the neck that contains the lymph nodes. The surgeon dissects the fatty tissue from the muscles, cranial nerves, jugular vein, and carotid artery. Whenever possible, all of the normal structures of the neck are preserved to minimize dysfunction.

Parathyroidectomy

Performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, this minimally invasive procedure is used to treat an overactive parathyroid gland. Preoperative imaging helps determine which of the four parathyroid glands might be overactive. This highly targeted, minimally invasive approach uses a small incision and does not require the use of a breathing tube. Pain, risk to the vocal cords, and trauma to the neck tissue are dramatically reduced compared to open surgery and recovery is more rapid.

Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is performed to reshape, reduce, or augment a person’s nose. The surgery may be performed for cosmetic or functional reasons (to address breathing difficulties). In the closed approach, used when limited access is necessary, all incisions are made inside the nose. Employed when more extensive exposure of the bone/cartilage nasal framework is required, the open approach involves making a small, well-camouflaged incision at the junction of the nose and upper lip. Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia and lasts a few hours.

Salivary Gland Removal

The major salivary glands include the parotid glands (located in the face in front of the ear), submandibular glands (located in the neck below the jaw), and sublingual glands (located in the mouth under the tongue). These glands may be removed because of a suspected tumor or to help resolve a chronic infection. Removal of one salivary gland does not typically cause much decrease in saliva production. Our surgeons use delicate meticulous dissection technique and facial nerve monitoring equipment to minimize the risk of any trauma to nearby nerves that control the facial muscles. Cosmetic surgery principles are used to disguise the incision scar.

Septoplasty

During a septoplasty, the surgeon will straighten deformed or twisted cartilage inside a deviated nasal septum to improve the nasal air passages. The procedure is performed via incisions inside the nose, leaving no external scars. The appearance of the nose is not altered, although the procedure is sometimes performed along with cosmetic nasal surgery.

Sleep Apnea Surgery

Procedures for sleep apnea are outpatient based and range from nasal septoplasty and turbinectomy, to palate reconstruction (which may include tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy), and may also involve simple procedures to shrink fullness at the back of the tongue. Careful exams are performed to pinpoint the exact problem in each patient, and for adults sleep studies are usually ordered to characterize the type and severity of the disorder. Reports of increased vitality and well-being are commonly reported by these patients, whether treated with surgery or without.

Stapedectomy

In a rare condition called otosclerosis, the stapes bone in the middle ear gets stuck in place, usually because of abnormal bone tissue growth. If the stapes bone can’t vibrate, this impacts the ability of sound to travel from the middle ear to the inner ear, making it hard to hear. Performed through the ear canal, stapedectomy is an elective microsurgical procedure that replaces the stapes bone with a prosthesis (artificial bone). Surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia.

Thyroidectomy

A thyroidectomy–surgical removal of the thyroid–is performed for one of three reasons:

  • An enlarged thyroid gland is compressing surrounding structures in the neck, causing difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, or hoarseness
  • Cancer is suspected or has been diagnosed
  • A persistent thyroid hormone imbalance cannot be controlled with medication alone

Turbinate Reduction Surgery

The inferior turbinates in your nasal passage are covered by soft tissue which can become inflamed and enlarged from chronic infection or allergies– a common cause of chronic nasal congestion. If medications fail to adequately reduce the turbinate swelling, surgical reduction may be necessary. There are various ways to reduce the size of the turbinates, from shrinking the soft tissue with electrical energy to partial resection of the turbinate bone.

Tympanoplasty

A perforated eardrum can have many causes, including infection, trauma, and chronic middle ear disease. While many such injuries heal spontaneously, some require this microscopic repair to protect against hearing loss and infection. Small tissue grafts may or may not be used.