Ear, nose and throat surgery, also known as ENT or otorhinolaryngology, is a surgical sub-speciality that deals with conditions of the ear, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck.
Types of Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery
The main types of ENT surgery treated in the hospital are adenoidectomy, endoscopic sinus surgery, grommet insertion (adult), myringoplasty, septoplasty, and tonsillectomy (adult).
This is the surgical removal of the adenoids for reasons which include impaired breathing through the nose, chronic infections, or recurrent earaches. The surgery is less commonly performed in adults in whom adenoids are considered vestigial and purposeless. Post-operative pain is generally minimal and reduced by icy or cold foods. The procedure can be combined with tonsillectomy if indicated and recovery time can range from several hours to two or three days (though as age increases so does recovery time).
This is a surgical procedure designed to remedy problems associated with sinusitis, an infection of the mucous membrane that lines your sinuses. It causes symptoms of pain, a blocked nose, discharge, reduced sense of smell and the feeling of mucus at the back of your nose or throat. Surgery widens the passage between the sinus and the nose so that mucus no longer becomes trapped. This should prevent sinusitis from returning but a patient’s sense of smell may not improve. Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed under either general or local anaesthetic through the nostrils and does not result in any facial scars or change to the outside shape of the nose.
Grommet insertion surgery in adults is designed to treat glue ear, a common condition where fluid collects in your middle ear behind your eardrum. It can cause deafness and repeated earache or infections, resulting in a discharge from your ear. A grommet (small plastic or metal tube) allows air to enter your middle ear, preventing fluid build-up. The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes about 20 minutes. The surgeon will make a small hole in the eardrum and remove excess fluid by suction (myringotomy). They will place a plastic or metal grommet in the hole.
A myringoplasty is an operation to repair a hole in your eardrum. A perforation is usually caused by an infection in your middle ear that bursts through your eardrum. It can also be caused by trauma (for example, being hit across your ear). A perforated eardrum can lead to repeated ear infections and poorer hearing. The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes. The surgeon will need to use a graft (piece of tissue) to cover the hole and will place the graft through a cut made either in front of or behind your ear, or inside your ear canal.
This is a surgical procedure designed to remedy a deviated (bent) septum, fixing the symptoms of a blocked nose. The operation is performed through your nostrils and does not result in any facial scars or black eyes. The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes. The surgeon will make a cut on the lining of the nose. They will remove the parts of the cartilage and bone that are bent and put the rest back in a straight position.
A tonsillectomy is an operation to remove the tonsils, part of a group of lymphoid tissues (like the glands in your neck) that help to fight off infection from germs that are breathed in or swallowed. Tonsillitis happens if the tonsils become infected. This causes pain, fever and difficulty swallowing. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 30 minutes. The surgeon will perform the tonsillectomy through your mouth. They will cut or peel the tonsil away from the layer of muscle underneath it, use heat to remove the tonsil and cauterise the area, or use radio-frequency energy to dissolve the tonsil.