By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.
No parent looks forward to their child going into surgery, especially if they need more than one procedure. At CEENTA, our Eye and ENT doctors often perform surgery together to not only minimize the time your child spends in surgery, but to ensure they get the best care possible, too.
What can you do to care for my child?
If a young child – often between the ages of 1 and 3 years old – has both a blocked tear duct and frequent ear infections, for example, they might receive simultaneous surgeries from eye doctor Elliot McKee, MD, and ENT doctor Christopher Tebbit, MD.
Both these problems have a similar cause: they are passageways in the head that are not working properly, but can be corrected with a small surgical procedure. In the case of a blocked tear duct that is causing daily tearing and discharge from a child’s eye, a doctor can perform a simple surgical probing that opens any obstruction in the duct. This procedure takes about 10 minutes.
In the case of frequent ear infections, ENT doctors can place tiny ventilation tubes through the ear drum, which allow air into the middle ear and allows for the ear to function properly, reducing infections. This is one of the most common pediatric surgical procedures and takes less than 15 minutes.
How does this benefit my child?
If doctors can perform both procedures concurrently, they can treat two of a child’s conditions while only putting them under anesthesia once.
“Minimizing a child’s exposure to anesthesia is always to their benefit,” Dr. Tebbit said. “Combining procedures during one course of anesthesia reduces the total time a child is under. Further, it is often better for parents, as there is only one recovery period rather than two.”
Another benefit of doing simultaneous surgeries is you don’t have to choose which procedure you would want done on your child first. That way, your child doesn’t have to deal with either the discomfort of a blocked tear duct or the pain of another ear infection while you wait an appropriate amount of time to bring them for a second surgery.
“Frequent tearing and mattering of the eye is a nuisance for both the child and his parents,” Dr. McKee said. “I’m glad to offer an effective treatment for it, especially when the risk and cost can be minimized by treating another condition at the same time.”
How else do they work together?
A practice with a continuum of care between specialties, like CEENTA, means more than just doctors working together when it’s time for surgery. For example, if Dr. Tebbit is treating your child for an ear infection and notices your child’s eye is excessively teary or looks infected, he could refer you to Dr. McKee for further examination. And if your child is showing allergy symptoms in the eye, Dr. McKee could refer you to Dr. Tebbit for further testing.
Doctors may also do joint tonsillectomy and strabismus surgery. Hearing tests under anesthesia may also be performed with any pediatric eye surgery, too.
Trust the doctors at CEENTA with your child’s care. Call today to make an appointment.
To make an appointment with Dr. McKee, Dr. Tebbit, or any of CEENTA’s doctors, call 704-295-3000.