Ear, nose, and throat surgery is the the surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, or deformations of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck areas.
The purpose of surgery to the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck is to treat an abnormality (defect or disease) in these anatomical areas. An anatomical deformity is a change that usually occurs during embryological development, leaving the affected person with the apparent defect. A disease in this area usually develops later in life, such as head and neck cancer. Additionally, the specialty known as otorhinolaryngology also includes surgical intervention for diseases in the head and neck regions. Most ears, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons in the United States are referred to as otolaryngologist and the specialty as otolaryngology. Ear surgery is usually performed to correct specific causes of hearing loss. Nose surgery can include different types of procedures necessary to treat sinus problems (sinus surgery). Throat surgery can include complicated procedures such as cancer of the larynx (laryngectomy), or more simple procedures such as surgical removal of the adenoids (adenoidectomy) or tonsils (tonsillectomy). Head and neck surgery may be necessary to remove a tumor or reconstruct an area after disfigurement from trauma or injury.
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RecoveryThe aftercare depends on the procedure and state of the health of the patient. The aftercare for a patient who is 60 years old with head/neck cancer is more extensive than a tonsillectomy performed in a young adolescent or child. Generally, aftercare should be directed toward wound care and knowledge gained from the surgeon specifically detailing the expected length of average convalescence. Wound care (cleansing, dressing changes, etc.) and postoperative follow-up with your surgeon is essential. Medications for pain may be prescribed. Patients stay in the hospital for eight to 10 hours (for the effects of anesthesia to subside) for same-day surgical procedures (i.e., tonsillectomy), or they may be admitted for a few days for more complicated procedures (i.e., cancer). Aftercare and convalescence may take longer for complicated procedures such as advanced cancer and temporal-bone (two bones on both sides of the skull near the ear) surgery for nerve disorders (that can affect balance) or for tumors.