A Guide to Good Health

3 Common Procedures Performed By ENT Surgeons

In 2017, there were 16 million ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeries performed around the world. The number of ENT surgeries is expected to exceed 21 million by the year 2022. This increase in the number of procedures makes ENT surgeries among the most common type of surgical procedures performed across the globe.

Here are three types of surgical procedures performed by an ENT surgeon.

1. Tonsillectomy

During this procedure, an ENT surgeon removes the tonsils, which are a pair of oval-shaped masses of soft tissue located at the back of the throat. The primary function of the tonsils is to stop germs from entering the body through the mouth. Unfortunately, for some people, the tonsils can become affected by recurring infections.

When the tonsils get infected on a regular basis, they become enlarged, which makes it difficult to swallow. Due to these symptoms, an ENT surgeon will remove the tonsils with a procedure called a tonsillectomy. Other symptoms that indicate it's time to get the tonsils removed include severe throat pain, white spots on the tonsils, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

2. Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

The cavities surrounding the nasal passages are called the sinuses. When the sinuses are swollen and inflamed, it is called sinusitis.

Common symptoms of sinusitis include:

For people with chronic sinusitis, an ENT surgeon can perform Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. This minimally invasive procedure involves the insertion of an endoscope through the nose. The endoscope allows an ENT surgeon to see the sinuses and help them remove tissue that is obstructing the sinuses.

While FESS is not a cure, the procedure can help a person with chronic sinusitis to better manage their symptoms.

3. Myringotomy With Tube Insertion

Myringotomy tubes are often referred to as ear tubes. An ENT surgeon places these small tubes into the eardrum to help drain fluid from the middle ear. This procedure is usually performed on children who have fluid in one or both ears for three or more months.

Children who get fluid in their ears on a frequent basis may have some of the following issues: 

Some children with frequent ear infections can experience speech delays as well as changes in the structure of their eardrum. For these reasons, an ENT surgeon will recommend a myringotomy with tube insertion.