Throat health is critical for both speaking and swallowing, and since digestion and speech are both key to human survival and quality of life, we take throat health seriously at Ear, Nose & Throat Plastic Surgery Center.

As the ears, nose, and throat are all connected, it is common for illnesses like sinus infections, colds, and reflux to result in swelling of the vocal cords which presents itself as a lump in the throat feeling, hoarseness or raspiness. In most cases, this will resolve itself as the patient heals and rests the voice; however, if the hoarseness persists after the patient recovers, it may be time to consult an otolaryngologist. Particularly important  for smokers, hoarseness that lasts longer than a month after an illness should be examined because voice changes are often an early indicator of tumors or cancers.

Our staff of otolaryngologists are trained to treat a full range of throat problems, ranging from vocal cord paralysis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis all the way to tumors or cancers of the throat. Our areas of specialty include:

Tumor and cancer surgery of the throat

There are a number of surgical options used to remove tumors and cancers of the throat and may involve the removal or partial removal of the larynx, hypopharnyx, or the lymph nodes in the neck.

Throat surgery for adult and children

Our physicians and surgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of both pediatric and adult throat illnesses, including the removal of nodules, tumors, polyps, and cysts or the recurrent infection of tonsils and the adenoids.

Tongue base surgery

Patients including those who suffer from sleep apnea often have a large base of the tongue which can collapse backward during sleep, obstructing the airway. An otolaryngologist can determine whether a patient has a large base of tongue with a fiberoptic laryngoscopy or a sedated endoscopy and then recommend whether tongue base surgery would be an appropriate course of treatment.

Reflux diagnosis and treatment

Gastroestaphogeal reflux disease, larynopharyngeal reflux or GERD, happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. The pain that occurs when this acid touches the sensitive tissue lining the esophagus is often called “heartburn” and is very painful. When this happens chronically, twice a week or more, the patient should seek a medical diagnosis and treatment to prevent worse health problems from developing, including Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancer.

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy

Enlarged tonsils and adenoids in adults and children can cause sleep complications, including sleep apnea, airway obstruction, and snoring. Tonsils and adenoids are often the site of chronic infections, particularly in childhood. When a treatment regime of medication fails to resolve these infections, it may be necessary to remove or reduce them. There are a number of different procedures that can be done to accomplish this, and your otolaryngologist will be able to best advise you on the best treatment options.

Parotid surgery

A parotidectomy is the removal of the parotid gland, one of two major salivary glands in the body. This is recommended when a mass is found, whether benign or malignant. Typically this is diagnosed with a CT scan and a fine needle aspiration of the mass itself to determine the necessary scope of the treatment or surgery.

Thyroid and parathyroid surgery

The thyroid is located in the neck, just below the larynx, and the parathyroid glands are an additional four small glands in the neck. They are both part of the body’s endocrine system which regulates metabolism. Thyroid problems can often be treated with medication, but in some cases of cancer or abnormal mass, partial or complete removal of these organs is a more successful option.

Salivary gland surgery

In addition to the parotid gland, there are other salivary glands present in the mouth including the submandibular gland (below the jawbone) and the sublingual gland (on either side and below the tongue). When tumors are present, surgery may be recommended.

Vocal cord surgery

The three types of vocal cord lesions that commonly cause voice problems are nodules, polyps, and cysts. In some cases, especially with cysts, surgery is recommended, in conjunction with vocal therapy, to restore the voice to good working order. We also perform thyroplasty, vocal cord injection and vocal reconstruction when vocal cord paralysis occurs from a tumor or previous surgery.

Swallow disorder diagnosis and treatment

Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, is most common in the elderly, but can be found in all age groups. Complications of dysphagia include weight loss, dehydration, malnutrition, drooling, coughing or choking, voice changes, the feeling that food is stuck in the throat, or a lump in your throat. A head and neck surgeon/otolaryngologist can diagnose what is causing the trouble swallowing, either by using mirrors in the mouth or with the use of scopes, and help create a treatment schedule that may involve medication, swallowing therapy, or surgery.


This is an in-office non-sedated procedure which uses a strobe light to view vocal cords and swallow dysfunction and is videotaped to allow for further review later. Videostroboscopy is useful because the way strobe light interacts illuminates the vocal cords within the larnyx which otherwise vibrate too rapidly to examine with other forms of light.

If you are experiencing problems with your oral cavity, mouth, throat, voice box, vocal cords and any of these issues results in pain, sleep issues, swallow problems, heartburn, or verbal impairment, we can help. Please contact us at Ear, Nose & Throat Plastic Surgery Center today to schedule your appointment with one of our physicians. Our direct line is 678-838-3903.