Ear, nose, throat clinic offers top-range diagnostic services
LA GRANDE — When the Grande Ronde ENT Clinic opened its doors at 710 Sunset Drive, Suite F, it was equipped with two state-of-the-art Otocompact Professional EVO units from Italian manufacturer Euroclinic S.p.A. These units now make it possible for the clinic to offer patients high-tech diagnostic examinations the ear, nose and throat.
“this is a state-of-the-art clinic,” said Dr. Brian Affleck, who heads the ENT clinic. “we have many of the things here you can get in larger cities in terms of ear, nose and throat equipment.”
Affleck said that he spent months carefully researching the market for the most useful, functional technology for the Grande Ronde ENT Clinic. At his recommendation and after careful consideration, the Grande Ronde Hospital decided to purchase the two units at a total cost of $76,000.
“I have pretty much what I need (for the clinic),” said Affleck. “Very few hospitals in the U.S. have transnasal esophagoscopy, but we have the capability here.”
Each ENT diagnostic unit comes as a cart holding everything the physician needs to examine a patient’s ear, nose and throat. It holds four frequently used instruments, completely integrated and operated automatically by a “soft touch” system. as soon as the physician takes an instrument from its holder, the instrument has power and it is operating. When returned to its holder, its power is conveniently shut off.
the cart itself has a special germicide compartment with a UV lamp for storing sterilized tools. It also includes a Touch Smart PC-monitor with video acquisition software, patient data archive abilities and a special camera integrated with a German-made dual vision microscope.
the microscope is at the end of an adjustable arm that is mounted to the cart and can swing in the desired position. It allows the physician to see deeply into the patient’s ear while using precision instruments to perform examinations and cleanings.
the unit comes with a 4-motor patient chair that can be pre-set to three different positions. It has dual wireless control, either through the touch screen tablet display or by a wireless foot control.
the instruments used with the Otocompact Professional EVO unit include two different sizes of endoscopes suitable for the adult patient and the pediatric patient.
“we have the rigid scope with a camera attachment,” said Affleck, “or we have the flexible (fiberoptic) scope that goes more places than the rigid scope.”
the Olympus flexible scope has a light and camera, which produces better resolution and pictures than the rigid endoscope, Affleck said. It is inserted into one nostril and guided down the throat. this procedure allows for the exploration and diagnosis of disorders of the nose, throat and vocal cords.
Affleck said that the entire patient visit is comfortable and expeditious. “I can take the patient’s history and perform the exam within 20 minutes.”
Before the exam begins, though, the patient’s nose is prepped with a spray decongestant and a topical anesthetic. this allows the scope to be inserted comfortably and without stimulating a gagging response from the patient. There are very few risks to this procedure, said Affleck.
the camera capabilities of the ENT unit allow Affleck to record the entire examination or take single photos during the exam. the data can be archived and later reviewed in consultation with the patient. After each patient visit and before reuse, the endoscope is cleaned and disinfected for about 25 minutes in a Steris machine, a high-line disinfecting atomizer, said the clinic’s registered nurse, Pam Canavan.
the ENT clinic is equipped to examine and treat pediatric conditions such as ear infections, hearing loss, speech delay and sleeping problems, including obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and mouth breathing.
It is important to address these conditions, said Affleck. for example, obstructive sleep apnea can present with ADHD symptoms at school. Kids can easily be distracted at school and their performance can be adversely affected because of sleep apnea.
“A child should not be snoring or breathing through his mouth. Mouth breathing isn’t normal,” Affleck said. “we are obligatory nose breathers, and if a newborn doesn’t breath through the nose at birth, the baby will die. Mouth breathing can later also cause dental problems with the dental arch and pallet.”
Pediatric mouth breathing is sometimes caused by an enlarged adenoid pad, Affleck said. the adenoid may naturally recede as the child grows. If not, then he recommends two other courses of treatment, prescription medication or an adenoidectomy.
as a facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Affleck performs surgeries on the head and neck, including facial reconstruction. He can perform tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, thyroid and parathyroid surgeries and various procedures involving the ears and nose. He can also perform surgeries for skin cancers and remove benign lesions like skin tags and moles.
“the most common condition adults present with is day-time reflux or laryngopharyngeal reflux,” said Affleck. “Symptoms of this disorder are persistent throat clearing, change in voice, gravelly voice or a sensation of a foreign body in the throat.”
Cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries are also among the medical services Affleck offers to his patients. He performs brow-lifts, corrective eye lid procedures (blepharoplasty), reconstructive surgery of the nose (septorhinoplasty) and repair of facial fractures.
the Grande Ronde ENT clinic is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed for lunch from noon to 1:00 p.m. Some insurances require a referral from a primary care physician, but self-pay patients may call directly for an appointment. Initial visits may cost between $145 and $409 (excluding an endoscopy procedure) and are billed through the Grande Ronde Hospital. for an appointment with Dr. Affleck, call 541-663-3190.