Paediatric ear, nose and throat surgery

Children may experience a lot of ear, nose and throat problems as they develop. Both Dr Giddings and Dr Rimmer are experienced paediatric ENT surgeons, having trained at dedicated paediatric centres including Great Ormond Street Hospital. They both operate regularly at Monash Children’s Hospital on children of all ages.

Children are more likely to experience acute ear infections (acute otitis media, AOM) than adults, as well as glue ear (otitis media with effusion, OME). If persistent, this can lead to hearing problems with subsequent speech and language delay. Examination of the ear and hearing tests are the first step. If there are persistent or recurrent problems, surgery in the form of grommet (ventilation tube) insertion may be helpful for your child’s hearing and speech development.

Recurrent tonsillitis may result in a lot of time off school (and parental time away from work!); if it is happening frequently then removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be indicated. Tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy may also be considered for “sleep disordered breathing”, when severe snoring with restless, poor quality sleep, and/or obstructive sleep apnoea (pauses in breathing during sleep) can affect a child’s daytime behaviour and development.

Nasal blockage in children, with mouth breathing and a snotty nose, may be due to rhinitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose), enlarged adenoids and/or enlarged turbinates (swellings in the side wall of the nose). These conditions may benefit from medical treatment with nasal sprays, but surgery may be indicated if not.

Occasionally children may develop neck lumps or cysts as part of their development (thyroglossal or branchial cysts). Accurate diagnosis is important and depending on the site may require surgery.