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Auckland DHB ENT - Otorhinolaryngology (ORL)

Public Service

Description

Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery (ENT) is also known as Otorhinolaryngology, 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.

Consultants

Referral Expectations

If you have an urgent problem requiring immediate surgical assessment you are referred acutely to the ORL Department where you will initially be seen by the Registrar (a trainee specialist) who will decide whether you need to be admitted to hospital. Investigations will be performed as required and the more senior members of the team involved where necessary.
 
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.

Procedures / Treatments

  • 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 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

  • Thyroidectomy

    The thyroid gland is a small organ in the midline of the neck, just below the Adam's apple.… More

  • Parathyroidectomy

    Hypercalcaemia is the medical word for a high level of calcium in the blood.… More

  • Neck Dissection

    A neck dissection is an operation designed to remove groups of lymph nodes from the neck for treatment of cancer that has actually or potentially spread from a primary site in the head and neck to the regional nodes.… More

  • Head and Neck Cancer

    Head and neck cancers are a group of malignancies affecting soft tissue and bony structures of the face, head and neck.… More

  • Head and Neck Surgery

    Head and Neck Surgery is a subspeciality of Otolaryngology that involves diagnosis and surgical treatment of benign and malignant conditions of structures in the face, head and neck excluding the brain, spine or neck muscles.… More

  • Neck Lumps or Masses

    The important concepts in understanding neck lumps are : age, location, solitary or multiple, duration and associated symptoms.… More

  • Tongue Cancer

    Tongue cancer presents as a persistent ulcer usually on the side of the tongue.… More

  • Pharyngeal Pouch

    A pharyngeal pouch or Zenkers Diverticulum is an outpouching of the pharynx at the level of the larynx (voice box).… More

  • Head and Neck Reconstruction

    Resecting head and neck cancers and benign tumours of the face and neck can create large defects that have a profound effect on cosmesis and function.… More

  • Voice Therapy

    Voice Therapy is available at Auckland City Hospital Outpatient Clinic on Level 6 of the Support Building.… More

  • Ear Nurse Specialist

    The Ear Nurse Specialist at ADHB works from the Ear Clinic at Greenlane Clinical Centre.… More

Contact Details

Auckland City Hospital

Central Auckland

  • Patient enquiries

    (09) 375 4300

  • Known extension/pager

    (09) 307 4949

  • Admission & Planning Unit

    Ext 24210 / 23225 | Fax: (09) 375 7038

  • Acute Referrals Service

    (09) 375 7030, Ext: 24048 |Fax: (09) 307 2858

  • Emergency Department

    (09) 376 0000, open 24 hours / 7 days

  • Outpatient appointments & surgical booking enquiries

    (09) 638 0400 / scheduling@adhb.govt.nz 

Mental Health Services

  • 24 Hour Crisis Line

    0800 800717

  • GP / External Specialist Help Desk

    (09) 307 2800

2 Park Road
Grafton
Auckland 1023

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Street Address

2 Park Road
Grafton
Auckland 1023

Postal Address

Private Bag 92 024
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142

This page was last updated at 3:10PM on January 9, 2017. This information is reviewed and edited by Auckland DHB ENT - Otorhinolaryngology (ORL).