Department of Otolaryngology

Children's Hosipital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

The Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology provides a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment program for all diseases involving the ear, nose or throat. Ear surgery, placement of ear tubes, removal of tonsils and adenoids and sinus surgery are performed. Special testing for nasal and eustachian tube function, as well as audiologic examinations, is available. The office also makes arrangements for patients needing any type of ear, nose or throat surgery.

Specialized surgical procedures include:

  • Laryngotracheal reconstructions
  • Pediatric sinus surgery
  • Cochlear implants
  • Congenital ear reconstructions
  • Placement of tympanostomy tubes
  • Bone-anchored hearing appliances
  • Removal of tumors of the ear

Areas of Specialty

Childhood ear disorders

Members of the division are among the most experienced in the world in managing childhood ear disorders including middle ear disease, congenital ear anomalies, chronic ear disorders and sensorineural hearing loss. Through the Hearing Center and Congenital Ear Center, they provide expert evaluation, diagnosis and advanced therapy for disorders of the ear, including:

  • All types of otitis media
  • Aural atresia
  • Microtia
  • Prominent ears
  • Malformed ears
  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Tympanic membrane perforation
  • Mastoiditis

Airway and breathing disorders

This unique regional resource manages a wide range of congenital and acquired airway disorders in children, including:

  • Severe subglottic stenosis
  • Posterior subglottic stenoses
  • Supraglottic stenosis
  • Combination stenoses
  • Stent cases
  • Revision cases
  • Laryngeal clefts
  • Laryngotracheoesophageal clefts
  • Tracheal stenoses
  • Base of tongue/epiglottic collapse

Innovative surgical interventions are employed, such as the novel use of lasers, procedures involving cartilage and mucosal grafting, and minimally invasive endoscopic techniques. Ancillary medical conditions, including those involving speech, swallowing and the pulmonary and gastrointestinal systems, are included in the assessment and treatment plan. Video-recording capabilities complement the structural OR assessment. In addition, a patient database and registry are maintained. Approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Pittsburgh, they allow for collection of specialized patient data.

Childhood voice, resonance, and swallowing disorders

A team of specialists from the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology including physicians, a voice nurse and pediatric speech and language pathologists provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of the full range of voice, resonance and swallowing conditions, including vocal fatigue, problems with nasality, drooling, and other conditions associated with problems managing salivatory secretions.

In addition to a full medical evaluation, specialized tests are offered, including:

  • Measures of vocal, aerodynamic and acoustic parameters as they relate to voice
  • Cookie swallows to further evaluate swallowing function
  • Dynamic X-ray studies to help assess severe resonance problems
  • Full endoscopic evaluations

The team’s comprehensive approach to evaluation and diagnosis also includes identifying additional conditions, such as reflux or allergies, that might be involved in a voice or swallowing problem.