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What happens during my initial ENT consultation?

What is an Otolaryngologist?

Many patients are apprehensive as to what to expect during their initial visit with an Otolaryngologist, or Ear, Nose & Throat specialist. Whereas most patients are familiar with primary care providers such as Internal Medicine or Family Practice physicians, many patients are not even quite sure what an Otolaryngologist is or what we treat.

An Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon is also known as an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor, or ENT. We specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of conditions affecting the head and neck area (except the brain, spine and eyeballs).

What can I do to prepare for my visit with Dr. Mills?

1) It is helpful if you have already tried some basic treatments for your nasal or sinus problems. At a minimum, this should include a trial of an over-the-counter nasal steroid spray (Flonase, Nasacort or similar) and saline sinus irrigations (NeilMed, NetiPot or similar) daily for at least a few weeks.

2) Gather information about previous treatments. If you have been prescribed other medical treatments for your condition (such as antibiotics, for example), it is helpful to know the specific medications, when these were prescribed, and the duration of treatment. If you obtained these treatments through your primary care provider and are unsure about specifics, you can always request that your provider send us the pertinent records.

3) If you have had previous testing related to your condition, please obtain and bring physical copies of these test results to your appointment. Examples include blood tests, CT scans, hearing tests, etc.

What should I expect when I come to Dr. Mills for nose or sinus problems?

1) First, the medical assistant will gather some basic information about your medical history and the reason for your visit. This is a good time to provide copies of any prior tests you may have brought with you.

2) Dr. Mills will discuss your concerns and gather some additional information, then perform a head and neck examination. This includes looking in the ears, nose, mouth and throat, as well as feeling the neck for any lumps or bumps.

3) In many cases, it is helpful to perform a nasal endoscopy to gain further insight into the underlying causes of your nasal or sinus symptoms. If indicated, Dr. Mills will perform this simple office procedure during your initial visit.

4) Dr. Mills will review with you his findings from the exam and/or endoscopy and will have a discussion about any recommendations for further testing and/or treatment.

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