Comprehensive care for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) disorders
The Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement provides outpatient and surgical care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with a wide variety of congenital and acquired conditions of the head and neck. We specialize in treating conditions ranging from airway obstruction and thyroglossal duct cysts to chronic ear and sinus infections.
Experts in pediatric otolaryngology care
Our team of pediatric otolaryngology specialists is one of the largest in the nation. Our team includes:
- 16 otolaryngologists
- 19 physician assistants
- 2 nurse practitioners
- 38 audiologists
- 53 speech language pathologists
- 4 psychologists
While nearly all of our pediatric otolaryngology specialists care for common pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders, our individual expertise is reflected in our multiple specialty programs and multidisciplinary collaborations. These enable us to address complicated otolaryngology problems.
Our multidisciplinary approach to patient care draws from the broad expertise represented on our team and the comprehensive clinical resources of Boston Children’s Hospital. This ensures that every patient we treat receives the care they need for their unique condition.
Meet our patients
Born three months premature, Caleb was diagnosed with significant hearing loss; at 8 months old, he could only recognize 5% of words with his right ear.
After receiving an FDA-approved cochlear implant, Caleb can now recognize 68% of words through his right ear — and continues to improve steadily.
Why choose Boston Children’s Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement?
Our numbers speak for themselves: As part of the top-ranked children’s hospital in the U.S., we treat more patients and have more experience than any other pediatric otolaryngology program.
Each year, we care for more than 25,000 otolaryngology patients and over 38,000 communication enhancement patients in Boston and at our five suburban clinic sites. Our surgical team performs more than 6,000 surgical procedures.
Our highly accomplished bench and translational research program focuses primarily on hearing and balance function. Through research, we continuously push ourselves and each other to improve patients’ treatment options, whether through new technologies or treatment modalities.
Specialty care for complex otolaryngology issues
Our clinicians’ expertise is reflected in our specialty programs that address complicated otolaryngology problems as a multispecialty team.
- The Center for Airway Disorders (CAD) exemplifies the coordinated care of patients with airway issues locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The CAD holds weekly multidisciplinary clinics, a weekly multidisciplinary conference, and a monthly multidisciplinary tracheostomy clinic. The center is closely integrated with our Feeding and Swallowing program and maintains interactive relationships with other related centers, including the Aero-Digestive Center and the Esophageal and Airway Treatment Center.
- Both the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program and the Cochlear Implant Program provide integrated care from our physician, audiology, speech language pathology, and psychology staff for children of all ages with hearing impairment. Each year, these programs care for a combined 4,000 to 5,000 patients with hearing loss of conductive or sensorineural etiology, many requiring initial diagnostic evaluation and management. This includes 60 to 70 children a year with hearing loss severe enough to undergo cochlear implantation with subsequent lifelong follow-up.
- The Balance and Vestibular Disorders Program is one of the few dedicated pediatric programs of its kind in the country. Our team of specialists includes physicians, a program-specific nurse practitioner, and a vestibular psychologist.
- The Head, Neck and Skull Base Surgery Program is a collaboration between Boston Children’s and Dana Farber Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The multidisciplinary team has conferences supporting the coordinated care of children with a wide variety of head, neck, and skull base malignancies.
- The Voice and Velopharyngeal Dysfunction Program is a multidisciplinary clinic that combines the expertise in otolaryngology, speech-language pathology, and plastic surgery to evaluate and treat children with voice and speech problems.
- The Sinonasal Clinic is a joint program, together with Boston Children’s Allergy and Asthma Program and Division of Immunology, addressing childhood nasal and sinus disorders. Through collaboration with our colleagues in the Head, Neck, and Skull Base Surgery Program and Brain Tumor Center, we are able to take a less-invasive, endoscopic approach to tumors of the skull base and central nervous system. Historically such tumors required craniotomy, the temporary removal of a piece of the skull so a surgeon can remove a tumor.
Our clinical expertise also extends to:
- infections of the upper respiratory tract and related complications, including otitis media (middle ear infections), rhinosinusitis (sinus infections), pharyngotonsillitis (throat infections)
- head and neck masses, including thyroglossal duct cysts, dermoid cysts, branchial cysts, sinuses and fistulas, and inflammatory cervical lymph node enlargement
- sleep disturbances related to upper and lower airway obstruction, including obstructive sleep apnea
Multidisciplinary care for complex ENT and communication issues
Patient families come to us from around the region and the country with complex conditions that require far-reaching expertise. We work closely with specialists throughout Boston Children’s to meet these patient’s unique needs. Our close collaborators include: