Ear, Nose and Throat Services
Tonsils are two oval-shaped lymphoid tissues at the back of your throat. Their function is to fight off infection and germs you breath in or swallow.
A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove your tonsils. It’s the only reliable means of stopping recurrent tonsillitis, when your tonsils repeatedly become inflamed and you suffer from a sore throat.
Your ENT surgeon will perform a tonsillectomy through your mouth as an outpatient procedure. You’ll be given general anaesthetic and then a scalpel or a surgical tool that uses heat, laser or ultrasound will be used to remove your tonsils. It takes about half an hour.
Surgical treatment for hearing loss
There are two type of hearing loss
- Sensorineural – you have difficulty producing or transmitting nerve impulses from your inner ear to your brain. This type of hearing loss is difficult to treat. Hearing aids and cochlear implants can help.
- Conductive – You have trouble conducting sound vibrations from your outer ear to your inner ear. It’s caused by middle and external ear problems including: ear wax, fluid or infection, a perforated/collapsed ear drum, trauma or, abnormal growths of skin, bone or tumours. This type of hearing loss can usually be treated.
At New Hall Hospital we offer the following surgical treatments for conductive hearing loss:
- Tympanoplasty - collapsed ear drum repair surgery
- Myringoplasty – perforated ear drum repair operation (often caused by infection, for example otitis media).
- Stapedectomy – surgery to restore hearing loss due to otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in your ear).
- Cholesteatoma removal – operation to remove abnormal skin growth in your middle ear.
- Ossiculoplasty – surgical repair or reconstruction of damaged or discontinued ossicles in the middle ear (ossicular chain).
- Perilymph fistula (PLF) repair – repair of a channel that has formed connecting your inner and middle ear and allows perilymph fluid leakage into your middle ear.
- Translabyrinthine surgery – tumour removal surgery.
Tinnitus happens when you hear sound in your ears or head but there’s no external noise. It can be in one or both of your ears, be high, low or medium pitch and occur occasionally or continuously.
Tinnitus can’t be directly cured. Underlying causes such as earwax or otosclerosis can be treated.
Treatment often focuses on therapies and counselling to manage your awareness of tinnitus and develop coping strategies. These include: sound therapy (neutral sounds distract you from the tinnitus sound), counselling (understanding tinnitus better helps to adopt coping strategies), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT – works on changing your thoughts about tinnitus to make it less noticeable) and tinnitus retraining therapy (changes your brain’s response to tinnitus by tuning it out so that you’re less aware of it).
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) happens when the air passage in your throat narrows or collapses and causes a total blockage for ten seconds or more, whilst you’re asleep. It’s caused because when you’re sleeping, your mouth, nose and throat muscles can relax too much. Your brain then wakes you briefly so you can take in air. This can happen throughout the night for some people and may result in extreme tiredness.
Initially lifestyle changes may be recommended such as: losing weight, cutting back on alcohol, stopping smoking or avoiding sedatives. A dental device, called a mandibular advancement device (MAD), may be helpful for mild apnoea. It’s worn whilst you’re sleeping to hold your jaw and tongue forward to create more space at the back of your throat and reduce the narrowing of your airway.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is usually advised if you’ve moderate to severe sleep apnoea. It uses a machine to blow pressurised air into your upper airways through a mask. This generates the required air pressure to keep your airways open.
If surgery is recommended, your ENT surgeon may remove tonsils or adenoids that are blocking your airway whilst sleeping or, insert a tube into your neck that allows you to breathe freely, called tracheostomy. If you’re obese, weight loss surgery may be advised.
Sinuses are small, air-filled cavities found behind your forehead and cheekbones. Sinus disease or sinusitis is a common condition where your sinuses become inflamed and blocked and cause pain, headaches, a blocked nose, discharge, fever and a high temperature.
Often people with sinusitis recover after a few weeks but if not, self-help remedies, medical help or surgery may be needed.
Surgery aims to unblock your sinuses and improve mucus drainage. The most common surgery for sinusitis is functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). Under general anaesthetic a thin, flexible telescope, called an endoscope, is inserted into your sinuses to allow your surgeon to see inside and use special instruments to remove bone and mucus membrane.
Balloon sinuplasty may also be used for sinusitis treatment. It’s carried out under general anaesthetic. A small, flexible tube is inserted into your sinuses and a balloon is inflated at the end of it.
Snoring is a snorting or rattling noise that happens when some sleeping people breath. For people who snore, the roof of the mouth and tissue in the mouth, nose or throat vibrate when breathing due to turbulence inside their airways.
Snoring is harmless but it can be a nuisance for others sleeping nearby. It can also be an indication that you may have sleep apnoea.
Losing weight, exercising and, alcohol and smoking cessation may help. Anti-snoring devices including mouth guards and nasal strips can ease your snoring.
Surgery may be recommended to remove the soft tissue that’s causing your snoring. If an anatomical problem is causing your snoring, then surgery will correct this. For example, large tonsils blocking your airway may be removed.