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What is Pediatric ENT Surgery?

Pediatric ENT surgery is any surgical procedure performed to treat disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures in children. The surgery is performed by pediatric ENT surgeons, also known as pediatric otolaryngologists. They provide specialized care for children diagnosed with ENT-related conditions.

Indications for Pediatric ENT Surgery

Pediatric ENT surgery is recommended when conservative measures or nonsurgical treatments have failed to treat the condition, or if it has been determined by a qualified otolaryngologist that surgery is the best treatment option.

Preparation for Pediatric ENT Surgery

Pediatric ENT surgeons are experienced in handling and treating children while making them feel comfortable. You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare your child by the surgeon. In general, you should inform the surgeon about any allergies or medications your child is taking, answer any questions you child has in simple language, and ensure that your child does not eat or drink anything 8-12 hours prior to the procedure.

Types of Pediatric ENT Surgeries

The different types of pediatric ENT surgeries include:

  • Ear surgeries such as making small incisions in the ear to relieve ear pressure and pain (myringotomy), reconstruction of the middle ear and eardrum (tympanoplasty), and placement of cochlear implants.
  • Reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries such as repair of a cleft lip or palate (palatoplasty), pinning the ears back (otoplasty), and reshaping of the nose (rhinoplasty).
  • Endocrine surgeries such as thyroid and parathyroid gland surgery.
  • Laryngeal (voice box) surgeries such as surgery to restore, maintain, or improve the voice (phono surgery), and removal of the larynx (laryngectomy)

Postsurgical Care for Pediatric ENT Surgery

The postsurgical care will depend to the type of surgery and condition of your child. Your pediatric ENT surgeon will provide specific instructions regarding care of surgical dressings, diet, medications, activity restrictions, and follow-up appointments. You will be advised about any signs and symptoms that should be reported to the surgeon. Follow these instructions to ensure a positive outcome.

What Kind of Training Do Pediatric Otolaryngologists Have?

Pediatric otolaryngologists are medical doctors who have had

  • At least 4 years of medical school experience
  • One year of surgical internship
  • Often an additional year of residential training in general surgery
  • A minimum of three to four years of additional residential training in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery
  • Pediatric otolaryngologist, in some cases, also complete additional training at various large children’s medical care centers through various fellowship programs

Pediatric otolaryngology specialists are involved in treating children from infancy through the teenage years. They choose to make pediatric care the core of their medical practice, and the unique nature of medical and surgical care of children is learned from advanced training and experience through practice.