Some ENT problems require surgical intervention. The good news is that minimally invasive surgical options can have significant benefits for patients, including a shorter surgery with a faster recovery, less post-operative pain, and few, if any, scars.
Types of leading-edge, minimally invasive ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgical procedures performed at Medstar Health
This procedure is designed to enlarge the opening of the sinuses to improve air circulation. Your physician threads a catheter up through the nasal passages to the sinus opening with no incisions needed. As the balloon at the catheter's tip is inflated, it causes micro-breaks to the paper-thin bones of the sinuses, enlarging the sinuses without disrupting their delicate lining.
Coblation technology gently dissolves target tissues, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Coblation works by delivering ultrasonic waves and low heat to the tissue. This technology can frequently be performed with minimal pain.
Endoscopic sinus surgery
Sinus surgery can treat chronic sinusitis (recurrent inflammation and infection of the lining of the sinuses) or frequent sinus headaches, but traditional surgery can leave scars and can disrupt the delicate sinus tissues. Using a small lighted tube called an endoscope, our ENT surgeons can correct sinus problems from the inside, eliminating the need for incisions.
Endoscopic skull base surgery
Tumors of the skull base that were previously treated through large incisions through the skull can now be removed endoscopically through the nose. Patients can experience quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays with an endoscopic approach.
Head and neck cancer surgery
Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians perform surgery to remove tumors in the head and neck, working closely with medical and radiation oncology experts as part of a patient's cancer treatment team.
Procedures to improve the voice are frequently performed through the mouth, and do not result in external scars. We are now able to perform many laser surgeries of the voice box under sedation so that general anesthesia is not required.
Neck dissection refers to the removal of lymph nodes and surrounding tissue from the neck for the purpose of cancer treatment. Several types of neck dissection exist, including
Selective: Least extensive
Modified: More extensive
Radical: Most extensive
Obstructive sleep apnea
Working closely with sleep disorder specialists, our surgeons can treat obstructive sleep apnea by removing some of the tissue that is obstructing the patient's airway.
The parotid glands lay in front of and below the ears. They form saliva that drains into the mouth. Benign or malignant tumors can develop in these glands and will present as a lump in front of or below the ear. Most tumors are benign and are present for several months with little or no growth. Malignant tumors may cause facial nerve weakness, lymph node enlargement, or pain at the site of the tumor.
Most tumors are in the portion of the gland above the facial nerve, so the tumor can be removed without injury to the facial nerve. This is known as a superficial parotidectomy
When the tumor requires dissection both above and below the facial nerve, the procedure is called total parotidectomy
Reconstructive and cosmetic surgery
Our facial reconstructive surgeons are recognized experts in repairing complex defects from cancer and trauma, and our cosmetic surgeons offer the full spectrum of facial procedures. We rely on the latest techniques in the field, including microvascular surgery, where we use tissue from other body areas to correct deficits in the head and neck.
In some cases, the cartilage and bone separating the nasal cavities (called the nasal septum) is crooked. If this interferes with breathing, septoplasty may be performed to correct the septum's alignment or to remove the crooked portions. This procedure is performed from inside the nose, which means there are no external cuts or scars on the face.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
If a patient's tonsils and/or adenoids frequently become inflamed or infected, the best course of action is often to remove them.
Transoral robotic surgery (TORS)
Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive approach to removing tumors or excessive tissue from the throat. This approach leaves no visible scars and can be used to treat some tumors of the throat, as well as sleep apnea.