ENT / Audiology and Speech Pathology

ENT / Audiology and Speech Pathology Care

UTMB Health’s Ear, Nose and Throat Consultants and the Center for Audiology and Speech Pathology have long been leaders in the healthcare industry. Our practice is championed by a faculty of driven physicians, who have trained at leading centers throughout the country and are now exercising their expertise on Galveston Island and at our mainland clinics in League City and Texas City.

Our physicians treat diseases and disorders of the ears, nose, throat, head, neck, and face, and their primary goal is to provide exemplary individualized care for our patients. Our surgeons provide care ranging from routine health maintenance and screening to intensive surgical management for neonates, children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric adults.

Below are some of our more common areas of treatment.

  • Adult and pediatric general ENT
  • Laryngology: voice and swallowing disorders
  • Sleep surgery
  • Rhinology: sinus and nasal disorders
  • Cosmetic and reconstructive facial, head and neck surgery
  • Otology/Neurotology: balance disorders, dizziness, hearing loss, ringing in ears
  • Adult and pediatric allergy
  • Cancers of the head and neck
  • Audiology: hearing tests, hearing aids, balance testing
  • Speech: adult and pediatric speech evaluations and treatment

ENT/Audiology

Conditions that impair ear function can be as minor as wax buildup or as serious as congenital & acquired deafness. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:

  • Adult and pediatric hearing loss
  • Ear infections and ear pressure disorders
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Balance disorders

The head and neck area encompasses organs with common disease.  These are often associated with common infections within these sites, but at times can also include more serious conditions such as cancers within this anatomical area. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:

Skin
The skin of the head and neck is exposed to the elements more so than other areas of our body. Conditions that may result from such exposures range from benign changes associated with the acceleration of aging to the development of skin cancers.

  • Aging changes of the face, eyelids, and forehead
  • Skin cancers
  • Defects resulting from treatment of skin cancers
  • Vascular lesions of the face/neck

Salivary Glands
The head and neck contains 6 major salivary glands.  Each of these can be afflicted with common conditions that include:

  • Salivary gland stones
  • Infections
  • Benign and malignant tumors

Neck
The neck contains the richest network of lymph nodes in the human body. Additionally, because of complex developmental pathways, selected congenital lesions can exist and present at any age, not only in children.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Lateral neck masses- branchial cleft cysts, benign or malignant enlarged lymph nodes, and infections
  • Anterior neck masses- thyroglossal duct cysts, laryngeal cysts, benign or malignant lymph nodes
  • Posterior neck masses- lipomas, benign or malignant lymph nodes

Congestion, allergies, a deviated septum, and mouth sores are just a few of the varied health problems that occur in this region of the body. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:

  • Sinus infections
  • Nasal obstructions
  • Disorders of smell
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pain in mouth
  • Mouth sores or lesions

The range of conditions that otolaryngologists diagnose and treat are widely varied and can involve the whole face, nose, lips, ears, and neck. Facial plastic surgery is a component of otolaryngology that can be divided into two categories—reconstructive and cosmetic. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:

Reconstructive
Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed for patients with conditions that may be present from birth. Some of these conditions include:

  • Birthmarks on the face
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Protruding ears
  • Crooked smile

Other conditions that are the result of accidents, trauma, burns, or previous surgery are also corrected with this type of surgery. In addition, some reconstructive procedures are required to treat existing diseases like skin cancer and cancers of the head and neck.

Cosmetic

Cosmetic facial plastic surgery is surgery performed to enhance the visual appearance of the facial structures and features. Common conditions include:

  • Aging face
  • Aging eyelids
  • Drooping Eyebrows
  • Nasal deformity
  • Chin and cheek contour deformities
  • Chin and cheek contour deformities
  • Chin and cheek contour deformities

Sinus and Allergy conditions can make life miserable. Breathing problems, congestion, fatigue, altered sleep are just some of the symptoms sinus and allergy sufferers live with every day. Often times, patients rely on over-the-counter treatments and incorrectly diagnose their condition.

The sinus and allergy specialists at UTMB Health can provide a proper evaluation of your condition to determine if it is sinus related or an allergy condition. With convenient appointments, our specialists will develop a personalized treatment plan to treat a wide range of conditions:

  • Nasal cavity issues
  • Sinus infections
  • Smell disorders
  • Nasal obstructions
  • Advanced sinus procedures
  • In-house allergy testing
  • Allergies to pollens
  • Food sensitivities and allergies
  • Allergic reactions to medications

Forty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Snoring is also an indication of obstructed breathing. Therefore, it should not be taken lightly. An otolaryngologist can help you to determine where the encumbrance may be and offer solutions for this noisy and often embarrassing behavior. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:

  • Obstructed Breathing
  • Snoring
  • Sleep Apnea

And although our physicians are well-equipped to handle the common ENT ailments, they have the training and expertise to handle the most difficult and specialized cases as well. Below is a list of some of our more specialized services:

  • Multi-disciplinary treatment of cancers of the lip, mouth, throat, larynx, sinuses, ears, scalp, and skin of the head and neck
  • Advanced open and endoscopic management of neck masses
  • Advanced sinus surgery including balloon sinuplasty
  • Minimally invasive pituitary and skull base surgery
  • Minimally invasive thyroid and parathyroid surgery
  • Facial plastic cosmetic surgery
  • Advanced reconstruction of the scalp, face, ears, nose, lips, and head and neck including microvascular free tissue transfer
  • Advanced sleep surgery including robotic sleep surgery
  • Advanced ear surgery for hearing and balance disorders
  • Cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids, hearing implants, assisted listening devices
  • Advanced vestibular (balance) testing and rehabilitation
  • Advanced diagnostics and care of the professional voice
  • Minimally invasive voice and swallowing surgery
  • Gland-sparing minimally invasive surgery for the major salivary glands
  • Robotic Head and Neck Surgery

Maladies of the throat can be a mere nuisance or a major ordeal. Tonsillitis, voice disorders, and even hoarseness all interfere with our ability to communicate. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:\

  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Change in voice
  • Noisy breathing
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic infections

The thyroid gland is one of the endocrine glands that makes hormones to regulate physiological functions in your body, like metabolism. Diseases of the thyroid gland are very common, affecting millions of Americans. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:

  • Thyroid and parathyroid abnormalities
  • Thyroid cancers
  • Goiters
  • Hyperactive and hypoactive parathyroid

Feeling unsteady or dizzy can be caused by many factors such as poor circulation, inner ear disease, medication usage, injury, infection, allergies, and/or neurological disease. Dizziness is treatable, but it is important for your doctor to help you determine the cause so that the correct treatment is implemented. Our ENT physicians can evaluate and treat these problems which may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Imbalance
  • Inner ear disorders
  • Unilateral vestibular dysfunction
  • Bilateral vestibular dysfunction

Robotic and Minimmally Invasive Services

The Department of Otolaryngology at UTMB Health specializes in the advanced practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery aimed at the diagnosis and management of diseases affecting the ears, nose, sinuses, throat, and head and neck. As has occurred in many surgical specialties, robotic and non-robotic minimally invasive approaches to manage diseases traditionally requiring complex open surgical approaches has increasingly become the norm.

These minimally invasive approaches, combined with state-of-the-art-equipment and specialized physician training, allow us to address numerous surgical conditions in ways that minimize pain and cosmetic changes while promoting faster recovery, shorter hospital stays, less scarring, and a quicker return to normal activities. Our group of fellowship-trained specialists offers the full spectrum of minimally invasive techniques, including robotic surgery, currently available within the specialty. 

ENT/Audiology

Our surgeons routinely perform minimally invasive surgery aimed at treatment of disorders of voice and swallowing. These approaches have the benefit of decreasing the length of hospital stay and overall recovery time. Importantly, they often afford the avoidance of a tracheostomy and allow for earlier resumption of oral nutrition.

Available procedures include:

  • Phonomicrosurgical management of vocal cord lesions
  • Endoscopic management of Zenkers diverticula
  • Endoscopic management of conditions of the greater larynx structures
  • Endoscopic and robotic resection of tumors of the larynx and pharynx.

Our surgeons have the capacity to perform transductal endoscopic management of obstructive conditions affecting the parotid and submandibular glands. This approach results in full resolution of symptoms thus promoting the preservation of otherwise normal glands and maximally preventing dry mouth.

Available procedures include:

  • Endoscopic removal of salivary gland stones
  • Endoscopic lysis/dilation of ductal strictures
  • Endoscopic biopsy of ductal lesions

Our surgeons offer a complete array of minimally invasive surgical treatments for nasal and sinus problems. Available procedures include:

  • minimally invasive image-guided endoscopic sinus surgery
  • balloon sinuplasty
  • endoscopic submucous resection of inferior turbinates
  • nasal polypectomy
  • rhinoplasy
  • endoscopic septoplasty
  • FESS with stereotactic navigation

Our surgeons offer minimally invasive procedures for a number of conditions that manifest themselves through snoring and sleep apnea. Available procedures include:

  • pillar implants
  • laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty
  • coblation
  • adenotonsillectomy
  • uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
  • robotic tongue base reduction
  • genioglossus advancement
  • septoplasty
  • submucous resection of inferior turbinates

Our surgeons offer minimally invasive thyroid and parathyroid procedures. These minimally invasive procedures maintain the outcome standards of traditional open surgeries while reducing the risk of complications, decreasing the size of incisions, and improving patient recovery.

Available procedures include:

  • Endoscopic thyroid lobectomy
  • Endoscopic parathyroidectomy
Spotlight

Our own Dr. Tammara Watts speaks with Ch. 2's Haley Hernandez on snoring solutions.

ENT / Audiology and Speech Pathology Locations