Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology)

doctor examining little boy's ear

At Children’s National Hospital, our team of expert ear, nose and throat specialists (called ENTs, or otolaryngologists) are international leaders in the field of ear, nose and throat care. With a commitment to providing the highest quality care and the most advanced treatments, our team combines clinical excellence in a compassionate, child-friendly environment.

Our team offers your child:

  • A full spectrum of ENT services. From the basic to the most complex, our team provides every aspect of ENT care. Whether we are managing chronic ear infections or performing advanced procedures to treat hearing loss, we have the resources and skills to give children the care they need.
  • Robust expertise. We treat 22,000 patients every year, which provides our doctors with extensive experience in treating ENT conditions. 
  • Pediatric specialists. Our ENT surgeons are fellowship-trained in pediatric otolaryngology, with expertise in caring only for the unique needs of children. We provide compassionate, child-centered care in our division and in our specialty clinics.
  • Level 1 Surgery Verification. We have attained Level 1 Surgery Verification from the American College of Surgeons, a distinction that recognizes surgery centers that have improved surgical quality, prevented complications, reduced costs and saved lives.
  • Ongoing research. Our team actively participates in research in the field of otolaryngology, bringing the latest techniques and treatments to your child’s bedside. We are constantly working to make procedures even more safe and effective for your child. 

Specialty ENT Programs

Our programs provide advanced, focused care for a wide range of pediatric ENT conditions. Your child receives a comprehensive evaluation and expert treatment from a team of specialists, all in one location and highly trained in your child’s condition.

Learn more about our programs:

  • Aerodigestive Program

    The Aerodigestive Program provides comprehensive, coordinated care to children with complex problems involving the airway (lungs), digestive tract and feeding. Our team cares for a variety of conditions, including:

    • Adenoid and tonsil hypertrophy
    • Airway anomalies (congenital and non-congenital)
    • Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
    • Extra-esophageal reflux disease (EERD)
    • Paradoxical vocal fold motion
    • Primary ciliary dyskinesia
    • Subglottic stenosis
    • Tracheal anomalies
    • Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF)
    • Tracheomalacia

    We offer one-stop care and personalized treatment plans. One-stop care means your child will have access to all of the specialists and services they need – all in one place. 

  • Airway Program

    Because airway abnormalities are unique for each patient, so too is the care your child receives. George Zalzal, M.D., the ENT division chief and an international authority on airway reconstruction, coordinates your child’s care with the clinic’s dedicated care team. Our specialists evaluate and treat children from around the world for various pediatric airway disorders, including chronic (long-term) breathing problems and complications from surgical procedures. 

  • Cochlear Implant Program

    The Cochlear Implant Program is comprised of renowned pediatric ENT specialists including Diego Preciado, M.D., and George Zalzal, M.D., who treat children with all levels and types of hearing impairment and perform a wide range of surgeries to restore hearing. We have performed over 300 cochlear implant surgeries in the past 7 years and we operate on children as young as 7 months. 

    If your child has hearing loss, whether it is a partial or total inability to hear, it can dramatically impact his or her cognitive, linguistic and social development, making social interactions and the ability to learn difficult. He or she may benefit from cochlear implant surgery. Our team can help guide you through this process before, during and after surgery, when we’ll provide you and your child with extensive support. 

  • Complex Salivary and Endocrine Surgery Program

    The Complex Salivary and Endocrine Surgery Program at Children's National Hospital treats problems that occur when a child cannot control oral and facial muscles. These problems are often an associated complication of neurological problems or conditions like hypotonia, cerebral palsy and developmental delays with feeding, swallowing and oral motor issues. Endoscopic sinus surgery opens the passages of the sinuses, allowing for proper drainage to the nose. The benefits of endoscopic sinus surgery include improved breathing, prevents sinus infection and involves minimal scarring.

  • Esophageal Surgery

    We have some of the nation’s leading experts in procedures for reflux and GERD. For complex cases in which children can’t use their esophagus due to illness or injury, we have the resources and skills to replace the esophagus, improving your child’s health and quality of life.

    We always strive to perform our procedures using the least invasive approach possible. We use an endoscopic approach in most cases. This leads to less pain and a shorter recovery for your child. 

  • Pediatric Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    At Children’s National we perform minimally invasive surgical procedures, like endoscopic surgery, whenever possible. Endoscopic sinus surgery entails the use of a small flexible tube with a tiny light and camera at the end to view the inside of the nose and sinuses to guide surgery. Specialized surgical instruments are used to make small incisions to open the passages of the sinuses, allowing for proper drainage to the nose. The benefits of endoscopic sinus surgery include improved breathing, prevents sinus infection and involves minimal scarring.

  • Vascular Anomalies Program

    Vascular anomalies are abnormal blood vessels or lymphatic vessels that can cause functional or cosmetic problems. We are one of the few clinics in the United States dedicated to treating vascular birthmarks.

  • Voice Program

    The Voice Program evaluates and manages pediatric voice disorders, whether it's a raspy voice that needs a little rest, or a more complex condition that requires advanced care from our specialists.

    The strength of our program is the close coordination between ENT and speech pathology, which allows children to receive a full evaluation and treatment recommendation during one office visit.

    Once we diagnose and identify the reason for your child's voice problem, we can develop a treatment plan that addresses the cause as well as long-term management of the condition.