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Waitemata DHB Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) - Otorhinolaryngology (ORL) Services

Public Service

Description

Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery (ENT) is also known as Otorhinolaryngology (ORL), or Head and Neck Surgery.  This area of medicine is concerned with disorders of the ear, nose, throat, the head and the neck.

ENT Surgeons (or otorhinolaryngologists) are specialist doctors who deal with medical and surgical treatment of conditions of the ears, nose, throat and structures of the head and neck apart from the eyes.

Consultants

Referral Expectations

If you have an urgent problem requiring immediate surgical assessment you will be referred to the ORL Department at Auckland City Hospital as acute ORL work is not done at North Shore or Waitakere Hospitals.

If the problem is not urgent, the GP will write a letter to the ORL Department requesting an appointment in the outpatient clinic. Each month the Department receives more new referrals than can be seen in clinic. One of the consultant surgeons working in the Department reviews the referral letters to determine who should be seen first, based on the information provided by the GP. Very urgent cases are usually seen within a couple of weeks, but other cases may have to wait a much longer time. Routine cases are often returned to the GP with some management advice.  

When you come to the ORL Outpatient Department you will be seen by a member of the ORL team who will ask questions about your illness and examine you to try to determine or confirm the diagnosis. This process may also require a number of tests (e.g. blood tests, x-rays, scans etc). Sometimes this can all be done during one clinic visit, but for some conditions this will take several follow-up appointments. Occasionally some tests are arranged even before you are seen at the hospital to try to speed up the process.
 
Once a diagnosis has been made, the medical staff will discuss treatment with you. In some instances this will mean surgery, while other cases can be managed with medication and advice. If surgery is advised you will be put on the elective surgical waiting list. Again these waiting lists are ordered according to the urgency and severity of the condition. The steps involved in the surgical process and the likely outcome are usually discussed with you at this time.
 
In order to minimise the amount of time of that you have to spend in hospital, many surgical departments run a preadmission process. This is usually done through a clinic where you are seen just prior to hospital admission. The aim of this clinic is to confirm that you still need to have the planned surgery and that you are currently fit and well enough to undergo the operation. This process usually involves the junior medical staff working in consultation with the anaesthetists, pharmacists, physiotherapists etc. Often the consultant surgeon will also take this opportunity to review your condition.

Common Conditions

  • Otology (Ear) Tests

    Audiometry is the electronic testing of hearing ability.  You will sit in a special room wearing earphones and be asked to respond when you hear a noise through the earphones.  These tests can measure your hearing levels as well as other aspects of hearing such as the ability to recognise… More

  • Otitis Media

    This is inflammation or infection of your middle ear (the space behind your eardrum) and is often associated with a build-up of fluid in your middle ear.… More

  • Otosclerosis

    When the growth of one of the tiny bones in your middle ear, the stapes, changes from hard to soft and spongy, it leads to the condition called otosclerosis.… More

  • Hearing Loss

    Hearing loss can be divided into two types: conductive hearing loss (caused by some sort of mechanical problem in the external or middle ear) or sensorineural hearing loss (caused by disorders of the inner ear, hearing nerve or associated brain structures).… More

  • Acoustic Neuroma

    This is a rare, slow-growing, benign (non-cancerous) overgrowth of tissue on the nerves that affect your hearing and balance.… More

  • Meniere's Disease

    Meniere's disease is a disorder in which there is an abnormality in the fluids of the inner ear resulting in increased pressure in the inner ear.… More

  • Sinusitis

    In the facial bones surrounding your nose, there are four pairs of hollow air spaces known as sinuses or sinus cavities.… More

  • Snoring

    Snoring is the harsh rattling noise made by some people when they sleep.… More

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

    When snoring is interrupted by episodes of totally obstructed breathing, it is known as obstructive sleep apnoea.… More

  • Rhinitis

    Rhinitis is the inflammation of the lining of the nose (nasal mucosa).… More

  • Tonsillitis

    Your tonsils are the oval-shaped lumps of tissue that lie on both sides of the back of the throat.… More

  • Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia)

    If you find it difficult to pass food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach, you may have a swallowing disorder or dysphagia.… More

  • Hoarseness

    Hoarseness can be described as abnormal voice changes that make your voice sound raspy and strained and higher or lower or louder or quieter than normal.… More

Other

Audiologists: Bronwen Arlington, Julie Hill

e-mail

Audiology Secretaries: Helen Lang and Jennifer Harrison

Ear Nurse Specialists: Barbara Middleton, Lorraine Cringle

PA ORL: Edith Ellis

Contact Details

North Shore Hospital

North Auckland

Freephone 0800 80 93 42 - Waitemata DHB residential areas only
Patient enquiries:
(09) 486 8930

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124 Shakespeare Road
Takapuna
Auckland 0620

View location information

Street Address

124 Shakespeare Road
Takapuna
Auckland 0620

Postal Address

Private Bag 93503,
Takapuna
North Shore 0740

This page was last updated at 11:35AM on June 10, 2014. This information is reviewed and edited by Waitemata DHB Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) - Otorhinolaryngology (ORL) Services.