Otolaryngology or ENT is the branch of medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and surgery
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

 that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear
The ear is the organ that detects sound. It not only receives sound, but also aids in balance and body position. The ear is part of the auditory system....

, nose
Human nose
The visible part of the human nose is the protruding part of the face that bears the nostrils. The shape of the nose is determined by the ethmoid bone and the nasal septum, which consists mostly of cartilage and which separates the nostrils...

, throat
In vertebrate anatomy, the throat is the anterior part of the neck, in front of the vertebral column. It consists of the pharynx and larynx...

, and head and neck disorders.

The full name of the specialty is otorhinolaryngology; the full term otorhinolaryngology (neoclassical Greek and modern Greek
Modern Greek
Modern Greek refers to the varieties of the Greek language spoken in the modern era. The beginning of the "modern" period of the language is often symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, even though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic...

: ὠτο(ρ)ρινολαρυγγολογία), also includes ῥινο- - rhino- (root of ῥίς) "nose". The term comes from the Classical Greek roots ὠτ- - ot- (root of οὖς) "ear", λαρυγγ- - laryng- (root of λάρυγξ) "larynx/throat", and the root -logy
-logy is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek language ending in -λογία...

"study", and it literally means "the study of ear and throat".

Some people refer to it as head and neck surgery. Practitioner
A practitioner is someone who engages in an occupation, profession, religion, or way of life.Practitioner may refer to:* Medical practitioner* Justice practitioner* Solitary practitioner, in Wicca and Paganism...

s are called otolaryngologists–head and neck surgeons, or sometimes otorhinolaryngologists (ORL).


Otolaryngologists are medical doctors
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 (MD, DO, MBBS, MBChB, etc.) who, in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, complete at least five years of surgical residency training. This is composed of one year in general surgical
General surgery
General surgery, despite its name, is a surgical specialty that focuses on abdominal organs, e.g., intestines including esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland . They also deal with diseases involving the skin, breast, soft...

 training and four years in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery; in the past it varied between two and three years of each.

Following residency training some otolaryngologists elect to complete advanced subspeciality fellowship
Fellowship (medicine)
A fellowship is the period of medical training in the United States and Canada that a physician may undertake after completing a specialty training program . During this time , the physician is known as a fellow...

 training which can be 1–2 years in duration (pediatric otolaryngology, neuro-otology, laryngology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, rhinology, or head and neck oncology).


Head and neck Facial plastics Otology Neuro-otology* Rhinology/sinus Laryngology Pediatrics* Sleep*
Surgical oncology
| Facial cosmetic surgery
| Ear
| Middle and inner ear
| Sinusitis
| Voice therapy
| Velopalatine insufficiency
| Maxillofacial
| Hearing
| Temporal bone
| Allergy
| Phono-surgery
| Cleft lip and palate
Endocrine surgery
| Trauma
| Skull base
| Anterior skull base
| Airway

| Dizziness
| Apnea and snoring
| Vascular malformations

| Cochlear
Cochlear, the adjective form of cochlea, may refer to:* Cochlear implant, a sensory aid for the deaf* Cochlear nuclei, the ventral cochlear nucleus and the dorsal cochlear nucleus...


(* Currently recognized by American Board of Medical Subspecialties)

Topics in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery

Contributors please visit the new Current Otorhinolaryngology WikiBook project before posting your academic topics here. High-level professional-quality material needed!

Head and neck surgery

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
    Squamous cell carcinoma
    Squamous cell carcinoma , occasionally rendered as "squamous-cell carcinoma", is a histologically distinct form of cancer. It arises from the uncontrolled multiplication of malignant cells deriving from epithelium, or showing particular cytological or tissue architectural characteristics of...

     of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx
  • Oral cancer
    Oral cancer
    Oral cancer is a subtype of head and neck cancer, is any cancerous tissue growth located in the oral cavity. It may arise as a primary lesion originating in any of the oral tissues, by metastasis from a distant site of origin, or by extension from a neighboring anatomic structure, such as the...

  • Thyroid cancer
    Thyroid cancer
    Thyroid neoplasm is a neoplasm or tumor of the thyroid. It can be a benign tumor such as thyroid adenoma, or it can be a malignant neoplasm , such as papillary, follicular, medullary or anaplastic thyroid cancer. Most patients are 25 to 65 years of age when first diagnosed; women are more affected...

  • Endocrine surgery of the head and neck (thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy)
  • Microvascular free flap reconstruction
  • Skull base surgery


  • Dizziness
    Dizziness refers to an impairment in spatial perception and stability. The term is somewhat imprecise. It can be used to mean vertigo, presyncope, disequilibrium, or a non-specific feeling such as giddiness or foolishness....

    • BPPV – benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
      Vertigo is a form of dizziness.Vertigo may also refer to:* Vertigo , a 1958 film by Alfred Hitchcock**Vertigo , its soundtrack** Vertigo effect, or Dolly zoom, a special effect in film, named after the movie...

    • labyrinthitis
      Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear, and a form of unilateral vestibular dysfunction. It derives its name from the labyrinths that house the vestibular system . Labyrinthitis can cause balance disorders....

      /vestibular neuronitis
      Vestibular neuronitis
      Vestibular neuronitis, also called Vestibular neuritis, can be a paroxysmal, single attack of vertigo, a series of attacks, or a persistent condition which diminishes over three to six weeks. It is a type of unilateral vestibular dysfunction and may be associated with nausea, vomiting, and...

    • Ménière's disease
      Ménière's disease
      Ménière's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo and tinnitus and progressive hearing loss, usually in one ear. It is named after the French physician Prosper Ménière, who, in an article published...

      /endolymphatic hydrops
    • Perilymphatic fistula
    • acoustic neuroma
      Acoustic neuroma
      A vestibular schwannoma, often called an acoustic neuroma, is a benign primary intracranial tumor of the myelin-forming cells of the vestibulocochlear nerve . The term "vestibular schwannoma" involves the vestibular portion of the 8th cranial nerve and arises from Schwann cells, which are...

  • Hearing loss
  • Mastoiditis
    Mastoiditis is an infection of mastoid process, the portion of the temporal bone of the skull that is behind the ear which contains open, air-containing spaces. It is usually caused by untreated acute otitis media and used to be a leading cause of child mortality. With the development of...

  • Otitis externa
    Otitis externa
    Otitis externa is an inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. Along with otitis media, external otitis is one of the two human conditions commonly called "earache". It also occurs in many other species. Inflammation of the skin of the ear canal is the essence of this disorder...

     – outer ear
    Outer ear
    The outer ear is the external portion of the ear, which consists of the pinna, concha, and external auditory meatus. It gathers sound energy and focuses it on the eardrum . One consequence of the configuration of the external ear is to selectively boost the sound pressure 30- to 100-fold for...

     or ear canal
    Ear canal
    The ear canal , is a tube running from the outer ear to the middle ear. The human ear canal extends from the pinna to the eardrum and is about 35 mm in length and 5 to 10 mm in diameter....

  • Otitis media
    Otitis media
    Otitis media is inflammation of the middle ear, or a middle ear infection.It occurs in the area between the tympanic membrane and the inner ear, including a duct known as the eustachian tube. It is one of the two categories of ear inflammation that can underlie what is commonly called an earache,...

     – middle ear
    Middle ear
    The middle ear is the portion of the ear internal to the eardrum, and external to the oval window of the cochlea. The mammalian middle ear contains three ossicles, which couple vibration of the eardrum into waves in the fluid and membranes of the inner ear. The hollow space of the middle ear has...

  • Otitis interna
    Otitis interna
    Otitis interna is an inflammation of the inner ear and is usually considered synonymous with labyrinthitis. HolaLabyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear that typically results in severe vertigo lasting for one or more days...

     – inner ear
    Inner ear
    The inner ear is the innermost part of the vertebrate ear. In mammals, it consists of the bony labyrinth, a hollow cavity in the temporal bone of the skull with a system of passages comprising two main functional parts:...

  • Perforated eardrum
    The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, is a thin membrane that separates the external ear from the middle ear in humans and other tetrapods. Its function is to transmit sound from the air to the ossicles inside the middle ear. The malleus bone bridges the gap between the eardrum and the other ossicles...

     (hole in the eardrum due to infection, trauma, explosion or loud noise)
  • Ear surgery


Rhinology pertains to sinus diseases and the anterior skull base.
  • Environmental allergies
  • Sinusitis
    Sinusitis is inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which may be due to infection, allergy, or autoimmune issues. Most cases are due to a viral infection and resolve over the course of 10 days...

     – acute, chronic
  • Rhinitis
    Rhinitis , commonly known as a stuffy nose, is the medical term describing irritation and inflammation of some internal areas of the nose. The primary symptom of rhinitis is nasal dripping. It is caused by chronic or acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose due to viruses, bacteria or...

  • Empty nose syndrome
    Empty nose syndrome
    Empty nose syndrome is a term that is used in otolaryngology to describe a nose that has been physiologically crippled by excessive surgical removal of turbinates in the nose in a surgical procedure known as 'turbinectomy' or 'conchotomy'...


  • Adenoidectomy
    Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. They may be removed for several reasons, including impaired breathing through the nose and chronic infections or earaches. The surgery is less common for adults. It is most often done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia....

  • Caustic ingestion
  • Cricotracheal resection
  • Decannulation
  • laryngomalacia
    Laryngomalacia is a very common condition of infancy, in which the soft, immature cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inward during inhalation, causing airway obstruction. It can also be seen in older patients, especially those with neuromuscular conditions resulting in weakness of the...

  • Laryngotracheal reconstruction
  • Myringotomy and tubes
    Myringotomy is a surgical procedure in which a tiny incision is created in the eardrum, so as to relieve pressure caused by the excessive build-up of fluid, or to drain pus. Myringotomy is often performed as a treatment for acute suppurative otitis media...

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
    Sleep apnea
    Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Similarly, each abnormally low...

     – pediatric
  • Tonsillectomy
    A tonsillectomy is a 3,000-year-old surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed from either side of the throat. The procedure is performed in response to cases of repeated occurrence of acute tonsillitis or adenoiditis, obstructive sleep apnea, nasal airway obstruction, snoring, or...


  • Dysphonia
    Dysphonia is the medical term for disorders of the voice: an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs . Thus, dysphonia is a phonation disorder...

    • Laryngitis
      Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx. It causes hoarse voice or the complete loss of the voice because of irritation to the vocal folds . Dysphonia is the medical term for a vocal disorder, of which laryngitis is one cause....

    • Reinke's edema
      Reinke's Edema
      Reinke's edema, also known as polypoid degeneration, is the swelling of the vocal folds due to fluid collection .-Presentation:Reinke's edema causes the vocal folds to bilaterally swell giving them an uneven, sac-like appearance...

    • Vocal cord nodules
      Vocal fold nodule
      A vocal cord nodule is a mass of tissue that grows on the vocal folds . Typically, this mass will appear on the junction of the anterior and middle two-thirds of the vocal fold, where contact is most forceful....

       and polyps

  • Spasmodic dysphonia
    Spasmodic dysphonia
    Spasmodic dysphonia is a voice disorder characterized by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the larynx during speech.- Types of spasmodic dysphonia :...

  • Tracheostomy
  • Cancer of the larynx
    Cancer of the larynx
    Laryngeal cancer may also be called cancer of the larynx or laryngeal carcinoma. Most laryngeal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, reflecting their origin from the squamous cells which form the majority of the laryngeal epithelium....

  • Vocology
    Vocology is the science of enabling or endowing the human voice with greater ability or fitness.. Its concerns include the nature of speech and language pathology, the defects of the vocal tract , the remediation of speech therapy and the voice training and voice pedagogy of song and speech for...

     – science and practice of voice habilitation

Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery

Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery is a one-year fellowship open to otolaryngologists and plastic surgeons who wish to specialize in the aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the head, face, and neck.
  • Rhinoplasty
    Rhinoplasty , also nose job, is a plastic surgery procedure for correcting and reconstructing the form, restoring the functions, and aesthetically enhancing the nose, by resolving nasal trauma , congenital defect, respiratory impediment, and a failed primary rhinoplasty...

     and septoplasty
    Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure done fix to straighten the nasal septum, the partition between the two nasal cavities. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose. When it deviates into one of the cavities, it narrows that cavity and impedes airflow. Often the...

  • Facelift
    A facelift, technically known as a rhytidectomy , is a type of cosmetic surgery procedure used to give a more youthful appearance...

  • Browlift
  • Blepharoplasty
    Blepharoplasty is surgical modification of the eyelid. Excess tissue such as skin and fat are removed or repositioned, and surrounding muscles and tendons may be reinforced. It can be both a functional and cosmetic surgery.-Indications:...

  • Otoplasty
    Otoplasty denotes the surgical and non-surgical procedures for correcting the deformities and defects of the pinna ; and for reconstructing a defective, or deformed, or absent external ear, consequent to congenital conditions and trauma...

  • Genioplasty
    Genioplasty/Mentoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that is used to improve the appearance of a person's chin. This can take the form of chin height reduction or chin rounding by osteotomy, or chin augmentation using implants....

  • Injectable cosmetic treatments
  • Trauma
    Physical trauma
    Trauma refers to "a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident." It can also be described as "a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow." Major trauma can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death...

     to the face
    • Nasal bone
      Nasal bone
      The nasal bones are two small oblong bones, varying in size and form in different individuals; they are placed side by side at the middle and upper part of the face, and form, by their junction, "the bridge" of the nose.Each has two surfaces and four borders....

      A fracture is the separation of an object or material into two, or more, pieces under the action of stress.The word fracture is often applied to bones of living creatures , or to crystals or crystalline materials, such as gemstones or metal...

    • Mandible fracture
    • Orbital fracture
    • Frontal sinus
      Sinus (anatomy)
      Sinus is Latin for "bay", "pocket", "curve", or "bosom". In anatomy, the term is used in various contexts.A sinus is a sack or cavity in any organ or tissue, or an abnormal cavity or passage caused by the destruction of tissue...

    • Complex lacerations and soft tissue damage

External links


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