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Ear, Nose, and Throat Services

Comprehensive Testing

The University of Chicago Medicine performs complete diagnostic evaluations to determine the cause and extent of ENT problems. In addition to common screenings (such as hearing tests), we provide many diagnostic tests that are available only at leading ENT programs. These include:

  • Videostroboscopy to visualize the vocal cords
  • Computerized analysis of voice
  • Triple endoscopy for diagnosis and staging of cancers (laryngoscopy, esophagoscopy, and bronchoscopy)
  • Endoscopic evaluations of the upper airway to assess structural problems related to the sinuses
  • Comprehensive hearing tests for adults and children, including newborns
  • Assessment of balance disorders, using rotary chair and balance platforms techniques, in addition to routine caloric testing
  • Hearing aid evaluations
  • Oropharyngeal motility testing to assess swallowing disorders
  • Comprehensive allergy testing
  • Home testing for snoring disorders
  • Comprehensive evaluations of speech and language

State-of-the-Art Treatment Methods

Allergy and Sinus Problems

Our physicians regularly treat allergy and sinus problems, such as sinusitis and allergic rhinitis. Treatment approaches for allergy and sinus problems include:

  • Our ENT specialists use medical and surgical treatments for allergy and sinus problems. Our physicians have conducted important research on the effectiveness of various methods for treating allergies.
  • Corticosteriod and antihistamine treatment for allergies. Patients here have access to the newest medications.
  • Advanced endoscopic surgery for nasal and sinus problems, which eliminates the need for an external incision and offers greater precision.

Ear and Hearing Health

The University of Chicago Medicine ear and hearing health team offers the full spectrum of diagnostic and treatment services for hearing loss, inner ear balance disorders and abnormalities of the ear. This highly skilled team, which includes ear surgeons, certified audiologists, nurses, and speech and language pathologists, cares for patients of all ages. In addition, our specialists treat diseases and problems of the inner ear and skull base that are related to the nervous system, including tumors.

Head and Neck Cancer

Amanda Ruiz, head and neck cancer patient, and Drs. Luis Portugal, Jonas de Souza Amanda Ruiz, center, learned she had head and neck cancer when she was 18 weeks pregnant. Her UChicago team successfully treated the cancer and she delivered a healthy baby girl.

The head and neck cancer program features state-of-the-art treatments designed to preserve organs and their function. Our otolaryngologists team up with University of Chicago radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and other cancer specialists in cooperation with the University of Chicago’s nationally ranked cancer program. Speech-language pathologists, nurse practitioners and pathologists also are members of the multidisciplinary team for head and neck cancers. Treatment approaches for cancer include:

  • Concomitant chemoradiotherapy (the simultaneous use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy) before surgery
  • Surgical techniques that preserve nerve function, including transoral robotic surgery (TORS), an innovative procedure to remove certain head and neck cancers through the mouth, rather than through large incisions via the throat or jaw.
  • Radical surgery, only if necessary for advanced cancer. For radical surgery, our surgeons often use free-tissue transfer and microvascular techniques to reconstruct bone, soft tissue and nerves.
  • For patients with advanced cancer, we offer innovative treatments that can improve survival and preserve appearance and function.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment for appropriate conditions, which typically causes less bleeding than traditional surgical methods.

Sleep-Related Disorders

Advanced therapies for sleep-related disorders including excessive snoring and sleep apnea. Our ENT experts work with specialists in our comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center to determine the best solution for each patient’s sleep-related problem. Our treatments include outpatient surgical procedures to reduce snoring, such as laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) and somnuplasty.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

University of Chicago ENT experts can perform plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, including cosmetic surgery and complex reconstructive surgery for facial deformities and severe injury.

Voice Disorders

The Voice Center is a unique service that focuses on a wide range of disorders related to speech and voice.

  • The staff includes speech-language pathologists and physicians with expertise in diagnosing and treating voice disorders.
  • The Voice Center provides evaluation and treatment of voice disorders, particularly for professionals such as singers, teachers, trial attorneys, or others who use their voices extensively, as well as children.
  • Treatment may include medications, behavioral changes, or surgery.

Speech and Swallowing Disorders

The Center for Speech and Swallowing Disorders provides evaluation and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech and swallowing disorders can result from cancer and other diseases, stroke, surgery, or congenital deformity. Treatment may include surgical or medical approaches, as determined by consultation between the physicians and speech-language pathologist.

Pediatric ENT Care

Dana Suskind, MD, and patient

The pediatric otolaryngology team at Comer Children's Hospital cares for children of all ages. Our staff includes several physicians who are specialty-trained in both otolaryngology and pediatrics. These physicians are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat ENT conditions in children, using surgical and non-surgical methods. Our team has expertise treating a wide range of pediatric ENT conditions, including airway problems, ear infections, sensorineural hearing loss, sinusitis, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Many children with profound to severe hearing loss have received the gift of sound through our comprehensive cochlear implant program.