Ear, Nose, and Throat Treatments

Ear Nose Throat Doctor Port Huron, Michigan

ENT physicians Dr. Brettschneider and Dr. Obermyer can help treat chronic conditions with lifestyle modifications, medication, and surgery when necessary. If you face the prospect of any ENT surgical procedure, Port Huron ENT physicians and staff ensure that your questions are answered and make you feel as comfortable as possible with the process.

Port Huron ENT Treatment and Surgery Options

Adenoidectomy

An adenoidectomy may be recommended for patients with enlarged adenoids (see "symptoms of enlarged adenoids"), those forced to breath through mouth, or snoring.

Like the tonsils, the adenoids are masses of lymph tissue in the back of the throat that help the body fight invading bacteria and viruses. Also like the tonsils, the adenoids are prone to infection and enlargement. This can lead to sore throat, ear infections, stuffy nose, and breathing and swallowing problems. If antibiotics or steroids fail to resolve the problem, the adenoids may be removed in a procedure called adenoidectomy.

Like the tonsils, the adenoids are masses of lymph tissue in the back of the throat that help the body fight invading bacteria and viruses. Also like the tonsils, the adenoids are prone to infection and enlargement. This can lead to sore throat, ear infections, stuffy nose, and breathing and swallowing problems. If antibiotics or steroids fail to resolve the problem, the adenoids may be removed in a procedure called adenoidectomy.

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Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)

Allergy immunotherapy is the most effective treatment for allergies currently in existence. It is approximately 95% effective in reducing symptoms of allergies, as opposed to medication which is approximately 50%. Immunotherapy is also highly effective against the weariness and fatigue that allergies usually induce.

Immunotherapy is administered via a weekly injection. You can occasionally miss sessions without negative effects. A normal course of immunotherapy treatment consists of a year of treatment, although some cases may need treatment for up to three years.

The injections are all natural, and significantly reduce the need for other forms of allergy medication. It is a good option for allergy patients who keep pets they may typically be allergic to, or if they are regularly exposed to their specific allergens.

Immunotherapy treatment is available in both traditional (injection) and sublingual (see below) methods. There are pros and cons to either method. Discuss your options with your physician to find out which is best for you. Back to Top

Allergy Testing

Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, food allegies, and pet allergies. If you have symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, nasal congestion, drainage, scratchy sore throat, hoarseness, or cough - allergy testing can provide you with invaluable information and enable our doctors to recommend a course of treatment such as medications, environmental controls (staying inside during peak pollen times, for example), and allergy shots.

It's highly important for people to be aware of what they are allergic to. It is valuable information to any physician that may be treating you. In some cases, knowing your allergies may even save your life! For this reason, our office provides extensive allergy testing. We test our patients for allergic reactions stemming from a variety of sources, such as inhalants, foods, metals, latex, chemicals, and fragrances.Back to Top

Balloon Sinuplasty™

Balloon Sinuplasty devices represent a new technology in the opening of blocked sinuses and chronic sinusitis, and in many cases, without tissue or bone removal. the FDA- cleared Balloon Sinuplasty products are used by qualified Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physicians.

Balloon Sinuplasty technology is an endoscopic, catheter-based system for patients suffering from sinusitis. The FDA-cleared technology uses a small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right For You?

Balloon Sinuplasty Technology Benefits

  • Safe and Effective - While use of any surgical instrument involves some risk, clinical studies have shown the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system to be safe and effective in relieving symptoms of sinusitis.
  • Minimally Invasive - The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices that are introduced thru the nostrils. These devices gently open blocked sinus openings.
  • Reduced Bleeding - Because in many cases, no tissue or bone is removed during surgery using this technology, there may be reduced bleeding. As a result, the need for uncomfortable nasal packing may also be eliminated.
  • Fast Recovery Time - While recovery time varies with each patient, many people can return to normal activity within 24 hours.
  • Does not limit treatment options - The Balloon Sinuplasty technology is an endoscopic tool and may be used with other medical therapies or surgical techniques. It does not limit future treatment options if you have a progressive disease.Back to Top

Watch Animation Videos on Balloon Sinuplasty

Esophagoscopy

An esophagoscopy is the examination of the esophagus using an instrument called an esophagoscope, a thin tube with a light source and a camera lens. Occasionally, the doctor will collect a tissue sample by attaching an additional instrument to the scope. The results from an esophagoscopy, along with any tissue evaluations, assist the doctor in diagnosing conditions of the esophagus. Like most endoscopic examinations, an esophagoscopy can be performed with either a rigid or flexible scope. The rigid scope requires the patient be put to sleep with general anesthesia. The flexible scope only requires topical anesthetic, allowing the patient to remain awake during the procedure. Back to Top

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

For patients with symptoms of chronic sinusitis, nasal/sinus polyps, facial pain and pressure, bad breath, or decreased sense of smell - endoscopic sinus surgery may be recommended. Signs and symptoms include pain over the cheek, behind the eyes, or over the eyebrows, nonproductive cough, low grade fever, thick green discharge from nose, and fatigue. Your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or antibiotics for acute bouts of sinusitis, but your doctor may recommend sinus surgery if other treatment options fail to effectively treat your sinusitis.

Endoscopic sinus surgery widens the sinus openings and allows the removal of mucus or diseased tissue for patients who suffer frequent sinus infections. The procedure can be performed endoscopically, using a thin fiberoptic tube (an endoscope) inserted through the nostrils. This minimally invasive technique lets patients enjoy a shorter recovery time and less post-operative pain. In addition, real-time video imaging guides the surgeon inside the nose and sinuses.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Patient? Please Download Port Huron ENT's

Post Operative Instructions for Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
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Hearing Aids

A hearing aid is a small in-ear device meant to assist patients with hearing problems. Hearing loss is a common, frustrating problem, and is usually related to inner ear damage, or unrelated medical problems. Hearing aids aren't necessary for all cases of hearing loss, but will be recommened when the problem is significantly reducing your ability to communicate with others.

Hearing aids work by amplifying sounds directed at the patient, while filtering out background noise. Although hearing aids are helpful in restoring the ability to hear, it is important that you realize what a hearing aid can and can't do. Your hearing will not be perfect. Even with advances in recent technologies, you will not be able to hear some sounds, or seperate speech from surrounding background noises. Regardless, your healthcare team will assist you in learning specialized techniques to further improve your hearing capacity.

The Hearing and Balance Center of Port Huron can assist you with selecting the best hearing aid for your needs and budget. Please call 1-810-982-3277 or see Hearing Aids - Hearing and Balance Center Port Huron website for more information or to schedule an appointment.
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Laryngoscopy

A laryngoscopy is an examination of the back of the throat, voice box (larynx), and vocal cords. The procedure can be performed directly or indirectly. A laryngscopy may be suggested by your physician if you suffer from hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or symptoms of laryngitis.

  • An indirect laryngoscopy uses two mirrors and a light source. One mirror is held towards the back of a patient's throat, while the doctor wears the other mirror. Light is reflected from the doctor's mirror into the throat so he or she can evaluate any throat conditions that may be present.
  • A direct laryngoscopy involves a fiber-optic scope that can be flexible or rigid. The scope allows the doctor to see deeper into the throat than is possible with an indirect evaluation. Flexible scopes are mostly used in examinations. Rigid scopes are used for surgery, tissue sampling, removing obstructions, and laser procedures, and require general anesthesia.Back to Top

Mastoidectomy

Located behind the ear, the mastoid bone connects to the middle ear and contains many air-filled spaces when healthy. Ear infections or disease in the ear or elsewhere can cause those spaces to fill with fluid, mucus or excess tissue (such as a cholesteatoma, a benign tumor that may grow out of a healing perforated ear drum and cause hearing damage). When medications and other non-surgical treatments such as antibiotics or professional cleaning fail to resolve the problem, mastoidectomy – surgical drainage – may be performed. Complications from surgery are rare but may include drainage from the ear, infection, temporary dizziness or loss of taste on one side of the tongue, hearing loss and, rarely, nerve injury to the side of the face operated upon.Back to Top

Myringotomy/Tympanoplasty

A tympanoplasty may be recommended for chronic ear infections and/or symptoms of hearing loss (TV needs to be turned up).

Myringotomy with the insertion of ear tubes is an optional treatment for inflammation of the middle ear. During a myringotomy, an incision is made into the ear drum, or tympanic membrane. The fluid in the ear canal is suctioned out, and a small tube is put in place to allow future drainage in the event of an infection.

Myringotomy is the most frequently performed ear operation and the second-most common surgical procedure in children younger than two. It is performed to drain fluid from the ear, restore lost hearing, relieve pain and prevent infections. During a myringotomy, an opening is made in the eardrum to drain excess fluid. The surgeon may then insert a tube that will remain in place for a few months. After surgery, drainage should stop and the hole in the eardrum should heal on its own. However, a small percentage of patients require a second procedure.Back to Top

Pillar® Procedure for Sleep Apnea

The Pillar Procedure can offer relief for patients who suffer from daytime sleepiness, mild sleep apnea, and snoring. The new, minimally invasive Pillar® Procedure addresses this problem by placing three small (less than 2 cm) woven inserts into the soft palate to reduce vibration and provide support to the tissues. The inserts are made of a material that has been used in implanted medical devices for over 50 years. They can’t be seen or felt, and do not affect speech or swallowing.

The procedure provides an attractive alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. The Pillar Procedure can offer relief from snoring and sleep apnea-related complications, helping patients and their loved ones sleep more soundly. Talk with your doctor to see if the procedure is right for you.Back to Top

Skin Cancer, Melanoma, and Skin Cancer Surgery

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease, and it is important to understand what the risk factors are for melanoma and what to look for on your body. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color or feel of a mole. For non-healing lesions, or moles that are changing color and/or size, your doctor may recommend outpatient surgery at the hospital or in-office surgery to remove the lesion/mole.

The most common procedure used to treat skin cancer in any of its various forms is surgery. Skin cancer surgery generally consists of the removal of the cancerous lesion, and an examination of the surrounding tissue to ensure that the cancer was removed entirely. The site is then repaired by standard stitches. For cases with large affected areas, your doctor may take skin from a another site and apply it to the wound in order to promote healing. This is called skin grafting. If the cancer is more advanced, alternate treatment options may be suggested, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Adenoidectomy Post Operative Instructions Port Huron ENT

Skin Surgery Patient? Please Download Port Huron ENT's
Tip Sheet for Patients Having Skin Surgery and
General Post-Operative Instructions on Plastic Surgery of the Skin
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Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy is very similar to traditional immunotherapy for treatment of allergy symptoms, with the exception that treatment comes in the form of drops administered beneath the tongue. Insurance does not cover this form of treatment, however, the mixing and dispensing of the drops is affordable, generally $15-20 a week. Most patients agree that this expense is well worth the improvement in their overall health, the reduction of allergy related symptoms, costs, and the general lifestyle improvement. Back to Top

Swim Molds

Following a tympanostomy and ear tube placement, the patient must wear earplugs while swimming and bathing to avoid water entering the ear canal. Bath and swimming water may contain bacteria which can lead to infection in the ear. Water can also cause pain and discomfort when entering the the ear. Patients may purchase earplugs before or after their surgery. Custom earplugs are also available, and require a 20-minute appointment to complete the mold.

We offer Instamolds and Doc's Plugs as ear plug options. Ask your doctor about which one is right for you. The Hearing and Balance Center of Port Huron can assist you with swim molds. Please call 1-810-982-3277 to schedule an appointment, or visit Swim Molds - The Hearing and Balance Center of Port Huron website for more information.Back to Top

Tonsillectomy

A tonsillectomy may be a recommended for adults and children with chronic sore throat (see symptoms of tonsillitis), strep throat, or cryptic tonsils.

Tonsillectomy, or removal of the tonsils, is one of the most common throat operations. The tonsils are masses of lymph tissue in the back of the throat. They work with the adenoids and immune system early in life to defend the body against invading bacteria and viruses. Sometimes the tonsils become infected, abscessed or enlarged, leading to any of a variety of symptoms including sore throat, fever, ear infections, and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Surgery is recommended when more conservative treatments such as antibiotics or steroids fail to relieve symptoms, or when patients have frequent infections or difficulty breathing. There are a variety of methods used, including traditional surgery, microcautery and radiofrequency ablation.

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UPPP (Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty)

A UPPP procedure may be recommended for patients who suffer from sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness, gasping for breath, and/or complaints of snoring.

A uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a procedure used to tighten the soft palate and remove the uvula. The tonsils must be removed for this procedure. As a result, the procedure will be somewhat shorter if the patient has had a previous tonsillectomy. Patients are sedated and are "put to sleep" for the duration of the procedure. The surgery consists of pulling back the uvula in order to identify a wrinkle line. The line is used to locate the mucous membrane that will be removed. The uvula is then removed as well. Your doctor will then sew the margins of the incisions together using a dissolvable suture called Monocryl. The suture takes 1-3 weeks to dissolve completely.Back to Top

Vestibular Testing

Vestibular testing is a series of examination of the vestibular (balance) portion of the inner ear canal. This form of testing is prescribed for various symptoms of dizziness or balance issues. Vestibular testing helps your doctor find the source of the problem, be it the inner ear or not. Once your doctor identifies the cause of the problem, a treatment plan is formulated depending on the results. Back to Top