The department of Otolaryngology provides comprehensive ear, nose and throat (ENT) care for the children of the Rocky Mountain region. Faculty and staff conduct clinics for sinusitis and voice disorder. Otolaryngologists are routinely involved in the hospital’s Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic, which treats more than 200 young patients annually. The department also oversees the region’s only pediatric Sleep Lab. An aggressive clinical outreach program is supported through The Children’s Hospital network of Specialty Clinic Centers located throughout the Denver metro area. Otolaryngology services are offered on the main hospital campus and in Aurora, Centennial, Littleton and Broomfield.

Kenny H. Chan, MD
with thirteen-year-old
Devin and eight-year-old Dylan

Clinical Activities
The department of Otolaryngology offers one of the largest teams of fellowship-trained pediatric otolaryngologists in the western United States. In 2001/2002, department provided inpatient care for more than 5,700 children. From 2000 to 2002, outpatient visits increased almost 21% to 10,000 visits in 2002.

The Sinus Clinic at The Children’s Hospital is one of the longest-running clinics of its kind in the nation. Established more than a decade ago, the clinic treats 80 to 100 kids annually for chronic sinus infection. A multidisciplinary team, including an otolaryngologist, an infectious disease specialist and an allergist/immunologist, provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment. Sinus Clinic specialists employ a wide array of tools that easily and effectively diagnose and treat sinusitis, including CT scanning; minimally-invasive, image-guided endoscopic techniques; and the newest medications.

The clinic has advanced basic research into the pathophysiology of pediatric sinusitis, identifying the microbiologic features and immunologic factors involved in the formation of this disease. Otolaryngology fellows and residents receive expert training in childhood sinusitis at The Children’s Hospital Sinus Clinic, one of the few sites in the world for such specialized training.

The Voice Clinic offers both medical and therapeutic treatments for a wide variety of voice disorders. The clinic treats voice disorders resulting from congenital causes, infectious disease, inflammatory conditions, benign and malignant vocal cord growths, neuromuscular disorders and trauma. Assessment of pediatric voice disorders is accomplished through computerized speech analysis, videonasendoscopy and video-stroboscopy.

In addition to assessment and specific treatment for voice disorders, the clinic can call in other pediatric specialists to provide care in cases with such complicating pathologies as hearing impairments and cerebral palsy. Beyond the physical benefits of treatment, early intervention in voice disorders can build a child’s self-confidence, improve school performance and provide extracurricular opportunities in such areas as speech and music.

The Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic at The Children’s Hospital is one of the top centers in the country for the treatment of cleft lip and palate. The multidisciplinary team includes plastic surgeons, pediatric otolaryngologists, pediatric dentists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, pediatricians, physical therapists and social workers.

Current areas of study include chronic rhinosinusitis, cervical lymphangioma and sleep disorders.

With double-digit growth in both operating room cases and outpatient visits, the department is recruiting additional staff members. The specialty clinics of Sinus, Voice and Sleep Disorders, have also grown at a steady rate. Ongoing evaluation of scheduling; space requirements, including satellite clinic hours; and the need for additional pediatric otolaryngologic services in the region will help the department maintain its reputation as a leader in pediatric ear, nose and throat care.



Sleep Lab Helps Kids Get Their zzzz’s

The Rocky Mountain Pediatric Sleep Disorders Program at The Children’s Hospital assists primary care physicians and specialists with the diagnosis and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with sleep problems. More than 650 young patients visit the sleep lab each year to be diagnosed and treated for such sleep-related problems as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, circadian schedule disturbances, daytime sleepiness, narcolepsy and insomnia. Twenty percent of all children suffer from some type of sleeping problem. The etiology ranges from poor sleep habits to underlying medical conditions. Whatever the cause, the impact can be devastating to children and their families. In response to these disorders, staff at The Children’s Hospital provide comprehensive clinics and overnight evaluation to make appropriate treatment recommendations.

Norman Friedman, MD, director of The Children’s Hospital Sleep Lab, explains, “Often sleep disorders are overlooked as a root cause of kids’ problems or are misdiagnosed as behavior disorders. We’ve seen dramatic changes in children by changing their sleep patterns. As the only pediatric sleep lab in a seven-state area, The Children’s Hospital offers young patients and their parents the most advanced sleep disorder diagnosis and therapy services.”