The Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck surgery at St. Louis Children's Hospital offers diagnosis and treatment of congenital, infectious, traumatic and neoplastic disorders of the head, neck and upper aerodigestive tract. Pediatric otolaryngologists evaluate and treat neck masses of all origins.
Areas of expertise and research
The majority of patients the department sees are diagnosed with recurrent ear infections and tonsillitis, obstructive sleep apnea secondary to enlarged tonsils and chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is an area in which St. Louis Children's Hospital pediatric otolaryngologists excel.
The department's emphasis on clinical research is further expanding its expertise in treating chronic sinusitis. Currently the department is investigating stenting material for use in the sinus cavities, which will aid in keeping the cavities open and reduce scarring. Surgery using computer-guided imagery is another area that shows promise for helping with operations inside children's small sinus cavities.
Conditions diagnosed and treated
- Treatment of chronic sinusitis
- Endoscopic evaluation and treatment of congenital and acquired diseases of the larynx, tracheobronchial tree and esophagus, including treatment of foreign bodies of the air and food passages
- Evaluation and treatment of head and neck masses
- Evaluation of hearing and language disorders
- Audiologic testing for all ages by standard audiology brain stem electric response audiometry
- Surgical and medical care for congenital, traumatic and infectious diseases of the ear
- Middle ear reconstructive surgery, including homograft transplantation of ossicles
- Surgery of the inner ear for cochlear implantation of electrical prostheses
Experts in cochlear implants
Cochlear implants are most effective when performed before the age of 5, which is when neural pathways are laid down as a result of stimulation. Parents sometimes agonize over the decision--they want the child to be part of the decision-making process, and that isn't always an option. St. Louis Children's Hospital otolaryngologists provide as much information and support as they can to parents as they struggle to make the right decision for their child.
One contributing factor adding to the demand for this procedure is that St. Louis encourages an oral-based deaf community, with three oral schools for the deaf operating in the area.