Easy. It is the most beautiful of all the surgical specialties. I know, I’m biased. Let me tell you why (and I am about to have a word diarrhea here)
It’s true that ENT does not get a lot of fanfare in Medical Schools. Most medical schools may spend 1-2 weeks on ENT teaching. ENT is often out of sight and out of mind in many curricula. That is, until a doctor does a term in Emergency, Family Medicine, general medical ward or critical care. Suddenly ENT problems are appearing everywhere: nosebleeds, headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, ear infection, hearing loss, sore throat, sinusitis, airway emergency, thyroid problems, sleep apnoea, hoarse voice, tongue lesions, parotitis, dry mouth, etc.
In ENT, we get to deal with the most urgent of all conditions (airway emergency), to the least (facial plastics and cosmetics). We deal with the most common of all surgical operations (tonsils, adenoids, middle ear tubes) and the least (open craniofacial resection, orbital exenteration, tracheal reconstruction, brain stem auditory implants). We deal with newborns (EXIT procedure, choanal atresia repair, laryngotracheal reconstructions) and the elderly (skin cancer, etc.) We deal with medical conditions (headaches, dizziness, ear infections) and surgical conditions (facial trauma, head and neck cancer). We have short ops (middle ear tubes, botox injections) and long ones (head and neck reconstruction, acoustic neuroma excision, skull base resection). We do things beyond our traditional territories: CSF leak repair, middle cranial fossa approach, pituitary tumour, orbital decompression, scapula and fibula free flap. We do some really fine procedures (vocal cord laser, stapedectomy) and some big knife ones (maxillectomy, mandibulectomy, facial reconstruction). We cure quickly (Epley’s maneuver, tonsillectomy) or we care slowly (chronic rhinosinusitis, vestibular migraine). We do old procedures (tonsillectomy) and new ones (bionic ear, transoral robotic surgery). In essence, we do way more than most people think.
And we like it that way. The variety is interesting for us, and no one else knows what we do. We keep it kinda like a magician’s secrets.
Let me list some of the exciting things we do to give you a sample:
Otoplasty, exostosis drillout, canal atresia repair, microtia reconstruction, myringoplasty, tympanoplasty, ossicular chain reconstruction, mastoidectomy, stapedectomy, endoscopic ear surgery, facial nerve decompression, semicircular canal plugging, superior canal dehiscence repair, meningioma, CSF leak repair, acoustic neuroma (transmastoid, middle cranial fossa, restrosigmoid), etc.
Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, turbinectomy, sinus surgery, endoscopic maxillectomy, transsphenoidal pituitary resection, endoscopic dacrocystorhinostomy, sphenopalatine artery ligation, orbital decompression, endoscopic craniofacial reconstruction, nasopharyngectomy, oesteoma drillout, meningioma, CSF repair, orbital abscess drainage, etc.
Vocal cord microsurgery, vocal cord injection, botox, laser vocal cord surgery, papilloma shave, vocal cord medialisation and lateralisation etc.
Head and Neck Cancer
Skin excision, lip reconstruction, glossectomy, pharyngectomy, laryngectomy, laryngopharyngectomy, maxillectomy, mandibulectomy, neck dissection, tracheostomy, craniofacial resection, rhinectomy, microsurgical reconstruction, thyroid, parathyroid, sialendoscopy, parotidectomy, etc.
Tonsils, adenoids, ear tubes, airway reconstruction, choanal atresia repair, microtia repair, mandibular distraction, laryngolamacia supraglottoplasty, vascular malformation, bionic ears, bone anchored hearing aid, drooling surgery, etc
Rhinoplasty, mentoplasty, facelift, blepharoplasty, brow lifts, fillers, TCA peels, botox, liposuction, implants, fat transfer, etc
Head and neck trauma, skull base trauma., etc
And those are the surgical cases. There are plenty more non-surgical fun to be had in ENT.
I love ENT because of the variety that I see everyday. A good mix of acute and chronic, medicine and surgery, kids and adults., rare and common conditions, routine and creative procedures, quick and complex cases, and lots more.
We’ve found gold, and that’s a secret that we hide from the rest of the world. Best of all, we get to help some people! Every specialty within medicine and surgery is fascinating. I happened to have found something I dearly love and enjoy.