Are ENT doctors surgeons

Ear, nose and throat medicine: a doctor for the senses

What would life be without hearing, smelling and tasting? ENT specialists ensure that the sensory organs function as perfectly as possible.

Here a short nose sniffing a huge cup of coffee, there a pointed nose that smells a roast chicken. Next to it is a long nose that breathes in the hearty smell of a currywurst and french fries meal. With mayo and ketchup, of course. Pictures of noses wherever you look, painted by a Berlin school class for the ear, nose and throat (ENT) ward of the Vivantes Friedrichshain Clinic in Berlin.

And there is already a lot of activity here in the early morning: a patient is pushed out of the room to his operating room, another patient has already survived her operation and comes back to the ward - still a little foggy. Many patients sit in the aisle waiting for their examination.

In the clinic, the focus of ENT is on the operative area: Microsurgical operations in the area of ​​the middle and inner ear, the paranasal sinuses and the larynx are among the established treatment methods.

“We have ten to fifteen shots every day. The throughput is really high, also because patients usually only stay three to four days, ”explains Sven Holleck-Weithmann, who is in the last of the five regular years of training in ENT. The 36-year-old wants to register for the specialist examination in four weeks.

Above all, the sensory organs of hearing, balance, tasting and smelling, but also the organs and structures necessary for voice and language formation as well as swallowing, are the responsibility of the ENT doctors. They take care of a wide range of functional disorders in the head, neck, larynx and throat as well as diseases in the upper respiratory tract. Allergic diseases are also part of ENT.

In the inpatient area, however, the focus is on surgery, as Holleck-Weithmann explains. Microsurgical operations are becoming more and more important, especially in the area of ​​middle and inner ear surgery, nasal and sinus surgery using endoscopy and larynx surgery. Plastic surgical interventions in the facial area, for malalignments of the auricles and deformities of the outer nose are among the established treatment methods in ENT medicine, as is tumor surgery of the neck and neck

the oral cavity.

Today for Holleck-Weithmann begins with an operation. His 18-year-old patient is literally fed up. He has had difficulty breathing since childhood. Findings: septal deviation (nasal septum curvature) and turbinate hyperplasia on both sides. The suffering was so great that the doctors advised him to have a septoplasty with conchotomy.

After a little less than an hour, the young patient survived the operation. The chances that he will be able to breathe freely through his nose in the future are good. For the assistant doctor, this is one of the nicest aspects of his specialty. “Of course there are also seriously ill people in the ENT area, but you can really help many patients within a short period of time and often even discharge them home cured

ssen, ”he says.

And then he hurries on. One floor up, audio examinations and balance tests are carried out, but so-called consultation patients are also treated. Even today a colleague needs the advice of an ENT doctor.

The patient, a 75-year-old man, was admitted a few days earlier with neurological symptoms. Suspected diagnosis: brain stem TIA (transitory ischemic attack). However, since the patient complains of hearing loss and noise in the left ear, the doctors at the monitoring station decided to see an ENT doctor in order to rule out disturbances in balance.

“It has never been so bad for me in my entire life,” says Werner L., as soon as he took a seat on the red examination chair. Holleck-Weithmann queries all symptoms in detail and orders a hearing test (audiometry) and an examination of the sense of balance (vestibular diagnosis).

Then the suspected diagnosis of Menière's disease is in the room. The disease of the inner ear causes ringing in the ears, dizziness and hearing loss. "The attacks of dizziness can get pretty severe, and the ears and hearing continue to suffer," explains the resident. If the course progresses, deaf

Advice and special examinations are also often requested by colleagues from other specialist areas: They send patients to the ENT department.
t the patient.

Since there is no causal treatment for Menière's disease, Holleck-Weithmann prescribes betahistine to at least relieve or even completely suppress the dizziness. However, in the next few days, other diseases such as stroke or an acoustic neuroma have to be ruled out by means of further tests.

And then it's back to the ENT ward. Even if there is still a lot going on here, everything is going according to plan on the ward. “Since there are only a few emergencies, the working hours in the ENT are definitely family-friendly. I can plan relatively well and reliably, ”says the father of an 8-year-old daughter.

For Holleck-Weithmann, ENT offers an ideal mix of conservative and surgical medicine. Due to the high throughput, you can also see many clinical pictures, and after five years of specialist training you already have a pretty good overview of the entire specialist area. Eugenie Wulfert

ENT specialist as plastic surgeon

  • After completing their specialist training, ENT specialists can acquire the additional title of "Plastic and Aesthetic Operations". In addition to the theory, this also includes an extensive practical side and lasts two years.
  • In further training, assistants have to learn different surgical interventions, for example rhinoplasty, otoplasty, operations for malformations of the nose, the auricle, the face and the skin, reconstruction of paranasal sinuses, flaps of various degrees of difficulty, removal of cartilage and bone grafts, aesthetic facial surgery including scar corrections and Contour enhancement.

How do you become a specialist in ENT?

Two different specialist competencies can be achieved in the field of ear, nose and throat medicine:

  • Specialist in ear, nose and throat medicine
  • Specialist in speech, voice and children's hearing disorders

The further training period for ENT is divided into:

  • 24 months of basic training in ENT and
  • 36 months of training to become an ENT specialist at a further training facility, six months of which can be credited in the field of surgery or pathology or in anesthesiology, pediatric and adolescent medicine, maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery or speech, voice and children's hearing disorders and up to twelve months in outpatient care Area to be served.