5 Facts about Adenoid Surgery

When it comes to throat surgeries in young children, tonsils seem to get all the attention. People talk about how an ear, nose and throat doctor removed their tonsils as a young child. They may fondly remember the days of eating ice cream and pudding as their primary diet following surgery. They may even swap stories on how their doctor told them they had large or small tonsils.

Read: Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor Removes World’s Largest Tonsils

For some reason, people seem to forget about their adenoids—even if they were removed during a tonsillectomy. Adenoids, like tonsils, are important glands that play a critical role in helping young children stay healthy and fight infection. So the Ear, Nose and Throat Center of Salt Lake City has written five facts about adenoids and adenoid surgery to help give these often-forgotten glands the attention they deserve.

Fact #1: Adenoids Are Glands That Fight Infection

Tonsils and adenoids are the twin powers in the throat that help fight infection. Unlike tonsils that are relatively easy to see (especially when they are enlarged), adenoids hide behind the nose and roof of the mouth. Our ear, nose and throat doctors often use x-rays to assess the size and inflammation of adenoids.

Adenoids capture and filter bacteria and germs as they pass through the mouth and help young children stay healthy. But when adenoids become infected, young children will get sore throats, swollen glands in the neck, may breathe heavily through the mouth, complain of earaches and more. At this point, a child may have adenoiditis and require a trip to the ear, nose and throat doctor’s office for diagnosis and treatment.

Read: Adenoids and the Symptoms of Adenoiditis

Fact #2: Swollen Adenoids Often Treated with Antibiotics

More than 100,000 adenoid removal surgeries or adenoidectomy are performed in the United States each year. That may seem like a lot of surgeries, but when you consider the millions of people in America, that number is relatively low. The reason for the low number is that doctors typically recommend antibiotics to treat swollen or infected adenoids. If the child suffers from inner-ear infections, a course of antibiotics is also recommended and in both cases, the antibiotics often prove successful.

Fact #3: Adenoids Disappear as We Grow Older

Adenoids grow between the ages of three and five years old. This is when adenoids are doing their heavy lifting to help strengthen a child’s immune system. Remarkably and completely unlike tonsils, adenoids begin to shrink between the ages of 5- and 7-years-old and typically disappear by the time a child reaches their early teenage years. In essence, adenoids serve their purpose and then get out of the way. That explains why you don’t hear about adults going in for adenoid removal, although in some cases, adenoids silently remain with adults throughout their lives.

Fact #4: Adenoids Often Removed Along with Tonsils

When antibiotics don’t work to reduce or eliminate sore throats, recurring ear infections or other symptoms of tonsillitis and adenoiditis, ear, nose and throat doctors in Utah often recommend adenoid surgery. It’s common for tonsils and adenoids to be removed at the same time. This outpatient surgery is performed quickly and patients are typically able to return home within a few hours of leaving the surgical room.

Read: Adenoidectomy and Recovery from Adenoid Surgery

The benefit of adenoid surgery is that the young patient only has to deal with a single surgical event to remove two helpful, but sometimes troublesome and infected, parts of their inner throat. Recovery is swift and long-term health benefits are often dramatic and positive.

before and after adenoid surgery

Fact #5: Adenoid Removal Often Results in Improved Health

Ultimately, good health is everyone’s goal. If your child struggles with regular tonsil or adenoid infections (three times in a year) or inner-ear infections (three times in a year), they are likely candidates for a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. The good news is that the child will likely endure:

  • Fewer sore throats: Tonsil and adenoid removal result in fewer bacterial infections, though viral infections are still possible.
  • Decreased mouth breathing: Your child may still breathe through her mouth. But chances are good she will breathe easier due to the removal of swollen tonsils and adenoids that constrict the space for air to enter the lungs through the throat.
  • Fewer ear infections: While patients may still have ear infections, adenoid removal will likely result in fewer.
  • Better, fresher breath: One of the ugly byproducts of infected adenoids or tonsils is bad breath. Remove the culprits and the child’s breath will often smell much better.
  • Clearer sounding voice: In some cases when adenoids and tonsils are very large, a child’s voice may sound muffled or nasally. Removal of adenoids and tonsils can help improve the quality and clarity of a child’s voice.

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center Can Diagnose and Treat Adenoiditis

Our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City have treated thousands of Utah patients who suffer from swollen adenoids and tonsils. If your child is suffering or exhibiting symptoms of adenoiditis, call us at 801-328-2522 to set an appointment. Better health may just be a phone call and office visit away.

3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

Think about your nose for a moment.

For good or bad, it’s one of the first things people notice about your appearance since it sits right in the center of your face. Now follow that thought with this comforting fact: no one’s nose is perfect–even those Hollywood actresses with seemingly flawless features and nostrils have small imperfections.

Noses get noticed. That’s why countless nose jobs (or rhinoplasty if we use the technical name) are performed each year. In Utah, we see the number of Utah nose jobs growing. Part of the reason is the healthy lifestyle Utah people live. All those mountain bike rides, rock climbing, baseball, football and rugby games take their toll on noses. When accidents happen, Utah rhinoplasty procedures usually follow.

Read: The Facts about Rhinoplasty and Reconstructive Nasal Surgery

But accidents aren’t the only reason for a nose job. There are good reasons for a nose job that are both medical and cosmetic. No matter the reason, our Utah ear, nose and throat doctors perform hundreds of nose jobs in Salt Lake City, Draper and Park City each year. Let’s look at 3 reasons to get a nose job.

Reason #1:  Your Nose Is Repaired for Medical Reasons

You’ve likely heard of a deviated septum. A deviated septum is the medical name for a condition where the center cartilage of the nose (the nasal septum) is off-center. A deviated septum creates difficulty breathing through the nose. Typically, the condition is more pronounced on one side of the nose and can sometimes result in sinusitis or sinus infections.

It’s estimated that more than 80-percent of all nasal septums are off-center. When a doctor diagnoses a deviated septum, he or she will perform a septoplasty, which is the surgical correction of a deviated septum. Septoplasties are typically not peformed on patients younger than 18 because the septum grows until age 18.

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center of Salt Lake City realizes great surgical outcomes following septoplasty.

“I truly enjoy seeing how happy people are after a septoplasty when they can breathe through both sides of the nose, often for the first time ever,” says Dr. John Bennett of the Ear, Nose and Throat Center. “Many people don’t realize how much trouble they are having breathing through the nose.”

Many people are born with a deviated septum. Others have experienced some sort of accident or trauma and the result is that the internal cartilage in their nose has shifted and prevents them from breathing easily.

The Ear, Nose and Throat doctors will diagnose your condition and perform a septoplasty that ultimately improves breathing. Even better for family members and sleeping partners, repairing s deviated septum typically results in less snoring. So those sleepless nights for the snorers and those who live in close proximity may quickly come to and end.

“Sleeping and exercise are dramatically improved after septoplasty,” adds Dr. Bennett.

Read: The Facts about Snoring

Reason #2:  Your Nose is Damaged in an Accident

Utah residents love to exercise. They love to get outside and push themselves to their limits. Some of us feel nearly invincible after climbing to the top of a mountain or pulling down a game-winning rebound. But gravity and blunt force trauma have a great way of bringing us back to earth and we often treat broken noses on patients who face-planted while skiing, climbing or mountain biking or took a nasty elbow to the face during a game.

Car accidents are another likely culprit in creating broken noses. The good news is that if a broken nose is treated within two weeks of the accident, the results are very positive.

Read: Repairing a Broken Nose

“After a nose is broken and displaced, we have about a two-week window in which we can return the nasal bones into their correct position with little trouble,” says Dr. Bennett. “After two weeks, the bones become fixed in the fractured position and it is much more difficult to straighten.”

Some patients consider their adjusted nose an improvement on the old one. Our advice following nose surgery is to take it easy, but some Utahns never learn. Guess that’s the curse of living in a state where going nose-to-nose with your competition and the elements is a passion.

Reason #3:  You Choose a Nose Job for Cosmetic Reasons

Your nose is one of your most prominent features. For good or bad. Some patients may have nose bumps they would like smoothed. Others may feel their nose is too big or too small. Still others may have had a rhinoplasty in the past and are unhappy with the results. Whatever your reason for seeking a nose job, the Ear, Nose and Throat Center wants to help you feel good about your nose and your appearance.

“The ideal nose should complement the face, and not detract from it,” says Dr. Bennett. “When we look at a person, we look at the eyes, the mouth, the hair. If a nose calls attention to itself, that can be a distraction. The nose can ‘make or break’ a face.”

A good nose job can help raise your self esteem. A bad nose can knock it down. We specialize in great nose jobs. Yet while a great nose job can help you feel more confident about your appearance, it can’t change deeper self-esteem issues. And we want to be sure you have realistic expectations about how a nose job will impact your life. So we will spend time with you discussing rhinoplasty options long before we ever operate.

Read: How to Prepare for Nose Surgery

“The best rhinoplasty simply removes the faults of the nose and, in the end, the nose does not look ‘operated’,” says Dr. Bennett. “I want my patients to look in the mirror after surgery and still see themselves, but with the nasal flaws removed.”

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 to learn more about nose jobs in Salt Lake City, Draper and Park City, Utah.

young child with earache

5 Facts about Ear Tube Surgery and Ear Infections

If you have young children it’s likely you’re very familiar with earaches. Statistics reveal that 75 percent of children will have at least one ear infection before they are three years old. Many children seem prone to earaches every few months.

As a parent, earaches can be frustrating for you and painful for your child. You may wonder why they get earaches and adults rarely do. The answer is simple: your immune system is much more robust than a child’s and that means ear infections are simply a part of growing up. That’s one fact about ear infections or otis media, which is the technical term for an ear infection.

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center regularly treats ear infection and earache in our Salt Lake City, Park City and Draper offices. To help you understand earaches, we’ve written 5 Facts about Ear Tube Surgery and Ear Infections.

Fact #1: Ear Infections Exhibit Common Symptoms

One of the difficulties parent’s face with ear infections is that they often strike young children who can’t yet communicate with words. In other words, they can’t always tell you that their ear hurts.

But even pre-verbal children will often demonstrate the following earache and ear infection symptoms:

• Fever
• Pulling or rubbing the ears because of ear pain
• Fussiness or irritability
• Fluid leaking from the ear
• Changes in sleeping habits or appetite
• Trouble hearing
• Turning up the TV/radio volume or inattentiveness

Watch for these symptoms and if you think your child has an ear infection, contact the Ear, Nose and Throat center for an appointment with one of our board-certified doctors. We’ll quickly diagnose the situation and create a treatment plan.

Fact #2: Ear Tube Surgery is Not First Choice to Treat Ear Infections

There are two types of ear infections: bacterial and viral. Bacterial ear infections may be effectively treated using antibiotics. Viral ear infections, on the other hand, do not respond to antibiotics and must simply run their course, much like a common cold.

A recent article in New Parent Magazine offers some useful guidance on what to do if your child gets an ear infection.

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center only recommends ear tube surgery when a child has suffered from multiple, recurring ear infections and/or speech development is delayed or the child exhibits hearing loss.

Read: ENT Doctor Answers 5 Questions about Ear Tube Surgery

Fact #3: Ear Tube Surgery is Common for Chronic Ear Infections

While the mere mention of surgery can strike fear into the heart of most parents, rest assured that ear tube surgery is common. In fact, approximately 2 million ear tubes are placed in young patient’s ears each year.

Fact #4: Ear Tubes are Used to Equalize Pressure in Eardrums and Minimize Future Infections

The goal of ear tube surgery is to remove fluids and equalize pressure within the eardrum. During the ear tube surgery, the doctor will make a tiny incision in the eardrum and will remove any fluid from the ear. This incision is in the inner ear and will never be visible.

At this point, the doctor inserts a small plastic tube into the eardrum and will place tiny ventilating tubes that will remain in place for a few months to several years. Ear tubes eventually naturally emerge from the eardrum and are either removed by a doctor during a routine checkup or, in some cases, ear tubes will fall out on their own.

Fact #5: Ear Tubes Help Prevent Ear Infections

There are many benefits of ear tube surgery. Most important, they help young children feel better and that’s a huge relief to worried parents. Ultimately, ear tubes:

• Allow air to enter the middle ear
• Enable fluid to drain from the middle ear into the ear canal
• Help restore hearing by clearing fluid from the middle ear
• Prevent fluid from accumulating in the ears while ear tubes are present
• Reduce pressure in ears which, in turn reduces the pain a child feels

See an ENT Doctor to Learn More about Ear Tube Surgery

We see plenty of earaches in Utah and we agree that ear infections are no fun. But with a variety of treatment options, we’re confident we can help improve your child’s health. Give us a call at 801-328-2522 and an ENT doctor in Salt Lake City or Draper will work with you to diagnose and treat your child’s earache.

Learn more: Learn what you can expect with ear tube surgery

Read: ENT Doctor Answers 5 Questions about Ear Tube Surgery and Otis Media