Pediatric ENT Care
Common Pediatric ENT Conditions
Our staff love to see kids! Their smiles, laughter, silliness, and sweet things they say make our day. The most common health issues in the pediatric age group are ear, nose, and throat issues. Dr. Slaughter is Board Certified in pediatric ear, nose, and throat care by the American Board of Otolaryngology and offers over 25 years of experience in treating these common conditions.
Parents want to know they are giving the best for their kids, and the kids just want to be happy and comfortable. We work as a team to make the experience something we would want for our own kids and offer enhanced pediatric care and safety.
If your child is suffering from one of these common conditions call to make an appointment with Dr. Slaughter today!
Recurring ear infections
Recurring ear infections (otitis media) and persistent ear fluid are common problems. We offer the best in medical therapy to treat this condition and when a necessary PET (pressure equalization tubes) can be placed to resolve this issue. This simple outpatient procedure performed painlessly with inhalation anesthesia is safe and takes just minutes to perform. Your child’s hearing is restored immediately with the removal of the fluid. The modern tubes that Dr. Slaughter uses allow for swimming in swimming pools and normal bath time activity without earplugs.
Many children suffer from chronic allergies. As part of our Allergy Testing and Treatment Center, we can offer a complete evaluation of this issue while also performing a detailed ENT evaluation. Custom allergy drops used under the tongue may provide a tremendous amount of relief with safety and convenience.
Chronic Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Children are especially prone to recurring sinus infections because of their immature immune system, frequent exposure in school and daycare, and the small sinus anatomy. We offer the most advanced medical therapy for this condition by using a tiny endoscope to obtain an accurate culture of the infection. Culture-specific antibiotic therapy both topically and orally can be given to successfully resolve the infection.
When medical therapy fails to break the cycle of recurring sinusitis, pediatric balloon sinuplasty can be used to gently open the sinus outflow tracts without surgery. This allows for removal of the infection and allows the sinuses to drain more naturally. Dr. Slaughter was intimately involved in the creation of the original prototype he uses for balloon sinuplasty and participated in the study that helped it obtain FDA clearance. In addition, he uses a special pediatric sinus balloon. This balloon is the only FDA approved for balloon sinuplasty in kids. In many cases, this balloon sinuplasty can be performed in our office procedure room under IV sedation. This provides a comfortable and familiar environment. Kids are usually back in school the next day and don’t require any pain medication. There is no packing or nasal splinting. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and most kids are on their way home within 20 minutes of having the procedure.
Many conditions can cause this and Dr. Slaughter personally evaluates your child for each factor that could be causing the nasal congestion. Some possible treatments could include the following:
- Needle-free allergy evaluation and treatment from our Allergy Center and treatment with allergy drops.
- Surgical correction. We offer MiniCT Imaging in our office to evaluate for chronic sinusitis, structural issues, and enlargement of the adenoid. Our MiniCT offers extremely low X-ray exposure – equivalent to about 15 minutes of sunlight.
If medical and allergy therapy does not resolve their chronic congestion, simple office or outpatient procedures such as balloon sinuplasty, turbinate reduction, tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy may be very helpful.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy
Children may have many different problems with their tonsils and adenoids. Similar to lymph nodes, these structures are located in the back of the throat (tonsils) and back of the nose (adenoid).
Recurring Strep throat and tonsillitis are a frequent problem in kids as well. When medical therapy fails to relieve this condition outpatient tonsillectomy can be performed using the latest and most painless technique to reduce recovery time.
Chronic tonsillitis may also require tonsillectomy. This is where the tonsils have chronic infection, tonsil stones, sore throat, and halitosis.
Snoring, UARS, and sleep apnea
Snoring is resistance to airflow that makes an audible noise but does not affect the quality of sleep. UARS is resistance to airflow that makes an audible noise and actually reduces the quality of sleep. These children have less deep sleep (slow-wave sleep) and REM sleep than they need. These phases of sleep are critical to mental restoration, memory, daytime cognition, physical restoration and growth. OSA is similar to UARS but it also involves periods of cessation of airflow, drops in oxygen concentration in the blood and on top of all the issues with UARS it can cause cardiac issues, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, and other medical issues.
Smart dentists are frequently the first to spot a child with UARS or OSA because the open mouth posture that occurs in these children causes an alteration of the facial growth. They see a high arched and narrow hard palate, anterior overbite, smaller jaw, posteriorly displaced jaw, and significant gum and tooth disease. Left without correction this will create many orthodontic issues.
Fortunately, curing UARS and OSA in the pediatric population is typically very easy. Whether it may require an outpatient procedure to remove the tonsil and adenoid, a non surgical balloon sinuplasty or turbinate reduction, simple needle-free allergy testing and allergy drops, or modern minimally invasive endoscopic septoplasty, the specific areas of the airway causing this condition can be addressed.
Ankyloglossia (tongue-tied) infants and children can have difficulty with the following:
In most cases, a brief simple office procedure can resolve this issue in minutes using topical anesthesia.
Hearing loss and speech delay
Hearing loss and speech delay are frequent concerns for patients. Our Ear and Hearing Center offers a comprehensive pediatric hearing evaluation for all ages for accurate results. Dr. Slaughter will also evaluate the tongue and oral cavity to make sure there are no limitations to movement. He also works closely with your speech pathologist to improve intelligibility.
Eardrum hole (perforated eardrum)
Kids may develop a hole in the eardrum after recurring ear infections. Tympanoplasty (repair of the eardrum) is a simple outpatient procedure that Dr. Slaughter can perform to repair the drum and restore your child’s hearing.
Head and neck masses are a frequent problem in children and of great concern for the parents. The following head and neck masses are evaluated by Dr. Slaughter in office:
- Lymph node enlargement
- Salivary gland swelling
- Congenital cysts such as branchial cleft cysts
When necessary, Dr. Slaughter has the expertise and experience to remove these masses with a simple outpatient procedure.
Schedule a Consultation
If you suspect your child may suffer any of these conditions, contact our office today at 512.601.0303 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Slaughter. Our practice serves Austin and the surrounding areas in Texas.