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Ear, nose & throat (ENT) surgery

Expert assessment and treatment for Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) conditions

Symptoms relating to the Ear, Nose, or Throat (ENT) can come on suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere. Covering sinus conditions, hearing problems, swallowing difficulties and more, this specialty focuses on a wide range of concerns. You should consider seeking help from an ENT specialist if you have had any of the following symptoms:


  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Discharge
  • Dizziness
  • Blocked sensation in the ears
  • Pain in the ears


  • Blocked nose
  • Runny nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Lack of smell
  • Sneezing
  • Facial pain
  • Nasal trauma


  • Frequent sore throats
  • Difficulty eating or drinking
  • Change in voice / hoarseness
  • Sensation of something stuck in the throat
  • Snoring complaints
  • Neck lumps

Our ENT specialists at Woodlands treat all of these concerns, and mouth and dental problems can be referred over to our colleagues in our Oral and Maxillofacial department. We work collaboratively with a number of related specialties to ensure you get the necessary specialised care for your condition.

Head and Neck cancer is increasingly common, particularly amongst smokers, and often presents initially with symptoms such as voice change, sore throats, difficulty swallowing or neck lumps. Recurring nosebleeds or hearing loss due to infections or wax can have a significant impact on your daily quality of life.

Roughly 85% of our patients from Darlington, Richmond, Barnard Castle and further afield have an outpatients-based procedure to help bring relief to their symptoms. With just one quick and easy procedure, you could improve your quality of life, finding reprieve from your debilitating symptoms.

For any signs of hearing loss, a hearing test can be arranged with an audiologist. Infections of the ear are commonly treated with microsuction and eardrops. If hearing loss is due to middle ear fluid, known as glue ear, then Grommets may be an option and your surgeon will be happy to discuss if this is appropriate to treat your condition.

Perforated eardrums tend to heal of their own accord, but if the hole is particularly large, surgery may be needed to reconstruct the ear drum. This is done under general anaesthetic in an operation called a myringoplasty, where the ear drum is reconstructed with a skin graft (tissue sample).

Recurrent tonsil problems such as infections or tonsil stones may be solved with a tonsillectomy, which is the standard surgery when a patient has had frequent bouts of tonsilitis. This can usually be done as a day-case procedure, enabling you to go home on the same day.

Palate surgery is often used for patients who struggle with snoring, where an operation is carried out to reduce the size of your palate or alter the rigidity to prevent the excess vibrations that cause loud snoring. Non-surgical measures may include reducing your intake of alcohol, losing weight, giving up smoking, and sleeping on your side rather than on your back.

Sinus Surgery (FESS) and/or Nasal Polypectomy is a surgical procedure to treat chronic nasal blockage due to polyps or chronic sinus disease that has not responded to medical treatment, and if the nasal blockage is due to a septal deviation then a Septoplasty procedure may be more appropriate.

Balloon Eustachian Tuboplasty is a highly sought-after procedure offered at Woodlands, useful for people suffering with recurrent/severe popping ears. Most of us experience popping ears with an extreme change of altitude (flying or diving, for example). The majority of people can equalize the pressure by swallowing or sucking a sweet, but some people can’t and live with discomfort and/or pain, even at ground level. This treatment is ideal for them.

Normally performed under a general anaesthetic, a catheter is inserted through the nose along with a small balloon, which is then inflated once the catheter has reached just beyond the eustachian tube (which connects the middle of your ear to the upper part of your throat, behind the nose).

If you’re a frequent flyer, this is a day case procedure you will certainly want to combat those symptoms of pressure sensitivity. Specialist surgeries like these are just one of the reasons Woodlands has patients coming from as far as Edinburgh and Carlisle for treatment.

Whether you are visiting us due to symptoms relating to your ears, nose, or throat, all consultations will begin with your consultant asking for a detailed medical history and a breakdown of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. They will most likely want to know:

  • What symptoms have you had?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Have you received any treatment for them yet?
  • Have these symptoms been getting progressively worse?

Your Consultant will the wish to perform a clinical examination of your symptoms, and this will involve inspecting either your ears, nose, or throat with various handheld instruments to asses the extent of any condition.

Many nose and throat conditions can be investigated and diagnosed with a nasal or throat endoscopy. This involves passing a small thin tube with a light and camera attached to it up your nose to help your consultant view the inside of your nose, down the back, and around the back of your throat. This enables your consultant to look for the cause of any swelling or certain blockages, like polyps or cancers.

Certain scans may also be required to confirm a diagnosis. This may include an x-ray, MRI or ultrasound, and your consultant can use these results to help create a personalised treatment plan. Occasionally a biopsy may be arranged under Ultrasound guidance.

Non-invasive treatment can often be started on the same day, picking up any prescription medication from our on-site pharmacy. Surgical options will be presented to you with all the relevant information, and your consultant can outline all the risks and benefits of each procedure, enabling you to make an informed decision on how best to proceed.

Choosing to have your ENT treatment done at Woodlands comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Assessments ASAP – Certain ear, nose and throat conditions are best treated at the earliest possible stage. If you’ve been experiencing any of the associated symptoms, our consultants can see you for an assessment without delay, getting you an accurate diagnosis and the necessary treatment before your symptoms progress any further.
  • Patient Satisfaction – 98.2% of patients in 2019 said they would happily recommend Woodlands Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 98.3% also said that the quality of care here at Woodlands Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.
  • One-Stop Shop – Some minor procedures can be done on the same day as your initial consultation, making Woodlands a ‘one-stop shop’ for certain treatments and procedures, such as nasal cauterizing, ear cleaning, and nasal or throat endoscopy.
  • Personalised care– We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey.
  • A Multidisciplinary Approach – Our teams at Woodlands work in tandem with each other to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. Working closely with Oral and Maxillofacial consultants, alongside a dedicated team of radiographers, anaesthetists, and nurses, you have support from medical professionals every step of the way during your treatment.
  • Convenient appointments – With appointments available between 10am and 8.30pm Monday-Saturday, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.

If any symptoms relating to your ears, nose, or throat are concerning you, why not book a consultation with one of our ENT specialists today? Our consultants can outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any necessary diagnostic scans, treatment and surgery if required.

For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Woodlands to book an appointment now.

Specialists offering Ear, nose & throat (ENT) surgery

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Mr David Lowe

Consultant ENT Surgeon

MBBS, BSc (Hons), MD, FRCSEd, FRCS (oto), FRCS (ORL-HNS)

Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Naveed Kara

Consultant ENT Surgeon


Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Vivek Shanker

Consultant ENT Surgeon


Woodlands Hospital

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Miss Helen Wallace

Consultant ENT Surgeon


Woodlands Hospital

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