Pediatric Otolaryngology

Taking Care of You: Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery offers top-tier excellence in ear, nose, and throat conditions in children. Our experts have extensive training in examining, diagnosing, and treating the full scope of pediatric ENT conditions, from chronic ear infections to vocal cord paralysis. Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery also participates in multi-disciplinary clinics that offer comprehensive, specialized care.

Patient Care Experience

Complex pediatric ENT problems require skilled and nuanced solutions. The Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery team works closely with additional experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, spearheading multidisciplinary care in programs like the Complex Aerodigestive Evaluation Team (CADET), and the Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Program (VPI). The Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery team also has experience in treating conditions like cleft lip, cleft palate, vascular anomalies, and refractory obstructive sleep apnea.

We offer clinics at the main Children's Hospital location, Murfreesboro, and Spring Hill, where we see more than 25,000 outpatient visitors and perform more than 6,000 surgeries each year.

Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery also offers a highly sought after clinical fellowship. The fellowship covers all aspects of pediatric clinical care as well as research and global outreach opportunities.

Conditions We Treat

  • Airway papillomas
  • Airway problems
  • Adenoid hypertrophy
  • Ankyloglossia (tongue-tie)
  • Aural atresia
  • Branchial cleft cyst
  • Choanal atresia and pyriform aperture stenosis
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Chronic ear infection/otitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Chronic tonsillitis
  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Deafness
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Enlarged or infected neck lymph nodes
  • Failed newborn hearing screening or unexplained hearing loss
  • Foreign objects in ear, nose or throat
  • Hemangioma
  • Hoarseness
  • Laryngeal cleft
  • Laryngomalacia
  • Mastoiditis
  • Micrognathia/retrognathia
  • Microtia
  • Myringotomy (Ear tubes)
  • Nasal dermoid/gliomas
  • Nasal polyposis
  • Nasal tumors
  • Nodules
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Otitis externa (Swimmer's ear)
  • Otitis media
  • Salivary gland problems
  • Stridor (Noisy breathing)
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Thyroglossal duct cyst
  • Thyroid enlargement (including thyroid cancer)
  • Tonsillar hypertrophy
  • Tracheal stenosis
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula
  • Tracheomalacia
  • Tracheostomy dependence
  • Tympanic membrane perforation
  • Vascular malformations
  • Velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI)
  • Vocal fold paralysis

Tests, Treatments and Services

  • Repair of cleft lip and palate
  • Airway reconstruction
  • Laryngotracheoplasty
  • Cricotracheal resection
  • Vocal cord lateralization/medialization
  • Laryngeal reinnervation
  • Laryngeal cleft repair
  • Functional endoscopic sinus surgery
  • Laser treatment of vascular malformations
  • Distraction osteogenesis of the mandible
  • Choanal atresia repair
  • Multi-level sleep apnea surgeries
  • Pharyngoplasty
  • Tympanoplasty
  • Tympanomastoidectomy
  • Cochlear implantation
  • Bone-anchored hearing aid placement
  • Facial reanimation
  • Septoplasty
  • Craniofacial reconstruction
  • Aural atresiaplasty
  • Microtia repair
  • Otoplasty
  • Cricopharyngeal myotomy
  • Sialoendoscopy
  • Salivary duct rerouting
  • Salivary gland Botox injection
  • Tympanostomy ear tubes
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Adenoidectomy
  • Tracheotomy
  • Airway endoscopy
  • Nasal cautery
  • Frenulectomy
  • Excision of neck mass
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Excision of thyroglossal duct cyst
  • Anterior skull base surgery to excise juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas and other tumors
  • Repair of anterior skull base encephaloceles and CSF leaks


Innovations, Awards, and Technology

Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery's robust research program helps our experts perform cutting-edge surgeries like anterior skull base resections and cochlear implants. Our team provides patients access to a wide range of clinical trials for the latest in Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery treatment. 

To refer a patient to Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, please call (615) 936-8176.

Selected Publications

Vanderbilt Publications

New Physician Spotlight: Ryan Belcher (VUMC Reporter August 12, 2019)

Ryan Belcher, MD, has joined Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s Pediatric Department of Otolaryngology after completing a yearlong fellowship with the program. To continue reading...

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

(bolded names held primary faculty appointments in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the time of publication)

Wootten CT, Belcher R, Francom CR, Prager JD. Aerodigestive Programs Enhance Outcomes in Pediatric Patients. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2019 Oct;52(5):937-948. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2019.06.007. PMID: 31400814

Lowery AS, Gelbard A, Wootten C.The incidence of laryngotracheal stenosis in neonates with a history of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Laryngoscope. 2019 Dec 4. doi: 10.1002/lary.28371. PMID: 31800102.

Yawn RJ, Acra S, Goudy SL, Flores R, Wootten CTEosinophilic Laryngitis in Children with Aerodigestive Dysfunction. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Jul;153(1):124-9. doi: 10.1177/0194599815577568. PMID: 25820587.

Belcher RH, Molter DW, Goudy SL. An Evidence-Based Practical Approach to Pediatric Otolaryngology in the Developing World. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2018 Jun;51(3):607-617. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2018.01.007. PMID: 29525391.

Harris J, Phillips JDEvaluating the Clinical Outcomes of Parotid Hemangiomas in the Pediatric Patient Population. Ear Nose Throat J. 2019 Sep 29:145561319877760. doi: 10.11777/0145561319877760. PMID: 31565986.

Wilcox LJ, Schweiger C, Hart CK, de Alarcon A, Peddireddy NS, Rutter MJ. Growth and Management of Repaired Complete Tracheal Rings after Slide Tracheoplasty. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Jul;161(1):164-170. doi: 10.1177/01945998819841893. PMID: 30961421.

Arambula AM, Xie DX, Whigham ASRespiratory events after adenotonsillectomy requiring escalated admission status in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 Apr;107:31-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2018.01.009. PMID: 29501307

Lowery AS, Gallant JN, Woodworth BA, Brown RF, Sawicki GS, Shannon CN, Virgin FWChronic rhino-sinusitis treatment in children with cystic fibrosis: A cross-sectional survey of pediatric pulmonologists and otolaryngologists. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2019 Sep;124:139-142. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2019.05.034. PMID: 31195306.

Batson S, Kelly K, Morrison D, Virgin FOphthalmologic Abnormalities in Children with Congenital Sensorineural Hearing Loss. J Binocul Vis Ocul Motil. 2019 Jul-Sep;69(3):126-130. doi: 10.1080/2576117X.2019.1625629. PMID: 31206347.

 Ayala OD, Wakeman CA, Pence IJ, O'Brien CM, Werkhaven JA, Skaar EP, Mahadevan-Jansen A. Characterization of bacteria causing acute otitis media using Raman microspectroscopy
Anal Methods. 2017, 9, 1864-1871.

Wright PF, Ikizler MR, Gonzales RA, Carroll KN, Johnson JE, Werkhaven JAGrowth of respiratory syncytial virus in primary epithelial cells from the human respiratory tract. J Virol. 2005 Jul;79(13):8651-4. PMID: 15956607.