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Northland DHB Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)

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. 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 may be returned to the GP with some management advice.  

If you live in Northern Northland you may be seen in Kaitaia.

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 / Procedures / Treatments

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Acoustic Neuroma

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

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

    Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV is a common cause of vertigo, the feeling of unsteadiness like you are on a rocking boat.… More PDF

  • 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

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

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

  • Snoring

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

  • Rhinitis

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

  • Sinusitis

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

  • Pharyngeal Pouch

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

  • Thyroid Disease

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

  • Head and Neck Cancers

    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 subspecialty 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

  • Mobile Ear Clinic

    To access the Mobile vision and hearing clinic call:  0800 MY EARS (0800 693 277) … More

Contact Details

Whangarei Hospital

Northland

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Kaitaia Hospital

Northland

More details…

This page was last updated at 3:31PM on September 25, 2017. This information is reviewed and edited by Northland DHB Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT).