Ear, nose and throat care

Pediatric specialists at Dell Children’s deliver advanced ear, nose and throat care for children throughout Central Texas.

little girl smiliing

Pediatric ENT care in Austin

At Dell Children’s, pediatric otolaryngologists, known as ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, specialize in diagnosing and treating ENT conditions for children. As the only fellowship-trained group of pediatric ENT doctors in Austin, we have the advanced training and expertise to deliver specialized care for even the most complex ENT conditions. And as a subspecialty of surgery, we have the expertise to deliver advanced surgical care.

Your child’s care team starts by listening to you and your child, and answering your questions. Your child’s doctor may recommend diagnostics, such as imaging, biopsy or endoscopy. If your child’s condition is related to another health concern, your child’s doctor also works with other pediatric specialists at Dell Children’s. Your child’s specialists collaborate to make a diagnosis and create a comprehensive care plan that’s right for your child.

Conditions we diagnose and treat

ENT Specialists at Dell Children’s diagnose and treat conditions such as:

  • Airway disorders
    • Airway stenosis (narrowing of the airway)
    • Laryngeal clefts (opening between the larynx and the esophagus)
    • Laryngomalacia (floppy larynx)
    • Stridor (whistling sound when breathing)
    • Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF)
    • Tracheostomy (used to insert a breathing tube into the trachea)


  • Ear conditions
    • Ear infections and fluid
    • Cholesteatoma (skin cyst growing behind the eardrum)
    • Chronic ear pain
    • Dizziness and balance problems
    • Eardrum perforations (hole in the eardrum)
    • Eustachian tube dysfunction
    • Hearing loss
    • Objects stuck in the ear
    • Outer ear abnormalities, including microtia (a malformation of the ear, present at birth)
    • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
    • Swimmer’s ear
    • Trauma injury to the ear
    • Tumors
    • Wax impactions
    • Other conditions of the ear


  • Feeding and swallowing disorders
    • Aspiration (when food and liquids enter the airway while swallowing)
    • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
    • Excessive salivation
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Tongue tie and breastfeeding support
  • Head and neck conditions
    • Branchial cleft anomalies (abnormal cysts or tracts within the neck)
    • Congenital and acquired lesions, including lymph node lesions
    • Thyroid gland lesions
    • Thyroglossal duct cysts
    • Salivary gland lesions
    • Vascular malformations
  • Mouth and throat conditions
    • Mucocele (mass in the mouth filled with mucus)
    • Snoring and sleep apnea
    • Tonsillitis (inflamed tonsils)
    • Tonsil stones
  • Nose conditions
    • Blocked nasal passage
    • Broken nose
    • Deviated septum
    • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
    • Lacrimal duct cyst
    • Nasal obstruction
    • Nasal polyps
    • Nosebleeds
    • Objects stuck in the nose
    • Sinus infections (sinusitis)
    • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Speech and voice disorders
    • Hoarseness
    • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis
    • Velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI)
    • Vocal cord paralysis
    • Vocal cord nodules

Advanced care for ear, nose and throat conditions

When ENT conditions are left untreated, they may become chronic, and senses such as hearing, tasting and smelling can become impaired. Talk with your child’s doctor if you are noticing new or worsening symptoms. Not all ear, nose and throat conditions are treated with surgery. Therapeutic treatments and medication may be an option for your child’s care. Our goal is to help restore your child's ear, nose and throat health, and promote long-term well-being.

Surgery may be recommended as part of your child’s care plan. Whenever possible, your child’s doctor uses minimally invasive and endoscopic procedures. With these types of procedures, there may be less pain and a shorter recovery. Our pediatric ENT doctors specialize in procedures such as:

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Airway reconstruction
  • Ear tube placement
  • Cochlear implants
  • Laryngeal surgery (for voice and swallowing)
  • Sinus surgery 
  • Tonsillectomies (tonsil removal)

If your child needs multiple surgical procedures, such as ear tube placement and a cleft lip repair, we work with other specialists at Dell Children’s to coordinate your child’s care. We often work with pediatric craniofacial surgeons, GI doctors, pulmonologists and other specialists to perform multiple procedures at the same time, limiting the amount of times your child will need anesthesia. Our pediatric anesthesiologists specialize in anesthesia for even the tiniest patients.

Your child’s doctor takes the time to explain — to both you and your child — the procedure, and what to expect before and after surgery. Knowing what to expect can help ease any stress your child may have. Child life specialists are also available to help distract your child before procedures with play, and teach your child relaxation techniques.

Multidisciplinary care at Dell Children’s 

For some conditions, your child may need care from several specialists. Dell Children's Medical Center has multidisciplinary programs to provide your family with the convenience and collaborative, comprehensive care. This means you and your child may meet with multiple specialists during the same appointment. Our Pediatric ENT team is involved in several of these programs, including:

  • Aerodigestive program

    For some conditions, such as dysphagia, aspiration, tracheoesophageal fistula, complex airway disorders, and gastric motility disorders, your child may need care from several different specialists. The Aerodigestive Program at Dell Children’s Medical Center brings together a multidisciplinary team of pediatric ENT doctors, pediatric pulmonologist, pediatric gastroenterologists (GI), dietitians, speech therapists, respiratory therapists and more. Your child’s team of doctors collaborates on a care plan for your child and delivers comprehensive care for complex airway, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.

  • Cochlear implant program

    The cochlear implant program at The Hearing Center includes a team of ENT doctors, audiologists, and speech therapists, neuropsychologists, psychologists and more. We take a comprehensive approach to pediatric cochlear implantation, and focus on supporting your child and family. We are here for your family every step of the way – from your child’s first appointment through speech rehabilitation and beyond.

  • Microtia program

    The microtia program at The Hearing Center includes pediatric ENT doctors, audiologists and craniofacial surgeons. We work in collaboration to provide surgical care to repair outer ear and ear canal malformations, provide hearing rehabilitation and manage hearing loss.

  • Tracheostomy and ventilator program

    The tracheostomy and ventilator program provides care for children with tracheostomies and children that are dependent on mechanical ventilation. The goal of our program is to manage the complex medical needs of these children. As part of our multidisciplinary approach to care, your child may meet with several specialists in the same outpatient visit, including pediatric ENT doctors, pediatric pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, speech therapists, a nurse coordinator, dietician, social workers and audiologists.

  • Thyroid program

    The thyroid program at Dell Children’s provides coordinated care between pediatric ENT doctors, pediatric endocrinologists, pathologists, oncologists and interventional radiologists. Together, we provide screenings and surgical care for children with thyroid conditions.

  • Voice program

    Your child’s voice is an important part of how they communicate and interact with the world around them. Voice disorders, especially in young children, can affect speech and language development, learning, emotional development, and social development. At Dell Children's Medical Center, our specialized care team has the expertise to diagnose, treat and manage the care of children who have voice disorders.

    We take a multidisciplinary approach to care. That means your child will benefit from the expertise of multiple pediatric specialists, including pediatric otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors) and speech pathologists (speech therapists). Your child can meet with multiple specialists at the same visit – allowing for complete evaluation and treatment. Click here for more information on the voice program.

Thriving after cochlear implants

Patterson began wearing hearing aids at the age of three months and has two cochlear implants. Patterson and her mom loved the team at Dell Children's who helped her to be able to hear.

Ear, nose and throat care