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Otolaryngologist performing an endoscopic sinus surgical procedure
A 40-watt CO2 laser used in otorhinolaryngology

Otorhinolaryngology /tˌrnˌlærənˈɡɒləi/ (also called otolaryngology-head and neck surgery) is a surgical subspecialty within medicine that deals with conditions of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and related structures of the head and neck. Doctors who specialize in this area are called otorhinolaryngologists, otolaryngologists, ENT doctors, ENT surgeons, or head and neck surgeons. Patients seek treatment from an otorhinolaryngologist for diseases of the ear, nose, throat, base of the skull, and for the surgical management of cancers and benign tumors of the head and neck.


The term is a combination of New Latin combining forms (oto- + rhino- + laryngo- + -logy) derived from four Ancient Greek words: οὖς ous (gen.: ὠτός otos), "ear", ῥίς rhis, "nose", λάρυγξ larynx, "larynx" and -λογία logia, "study"[1] (cf. Greek ωτορινολαρυγγολόγος, "otorhinolaryngologist").


Otorhinolaryngologists are physicians (MD, DO, MBBS, MBChB, etc.) who, in the United States, complete at least five years of surgical residency training. This is composed of six months of general surgical training and four and a half years in specialist surgery. In Canada and the United States, practitioners complete a five-year residency training after medical school.

Following residency training, some otolaryngologist-head & neck surgeons complete an advanced sub-specialty fellowship, where training can be one to two years in duration. In the United States and Canada, otorhinolaryngology is one of the most competitive specialties in medicine in which to obtain a residency position following medical school.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom entrance to otorhinolaryngology higher surgical training is highly competitive and involves a rigorous national selection process.[citation needed] The training programme consists of 6 years of higher surgical training after which trainees frequently undertake fellowships in a sub-speciality prior to becoming a consultant.


Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery* Otology Neurotology* Rhinology and Sinus Surgery Laryngology and Voice Disorders Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology* Sleep Medicine*
Surgical oncology Facial cosmetic surgery Ear Middle and inner ear Sinusitis Voice disorders Velopalatine insufficiency Sleep disorders


Maxillofacial surgery Hearing Temporal bone Allergy Phono-surgery Cleft lip and palate Sleep apnea surgery
Endocrine surgery Traumatic reconstruction Balance Skull base surgery Anterior skull base Swallowing disorders Airway Sleep investigations
Endoscopic Surgery Craniofacial surgery Dizziness Apnea and snoring Vascular malformations
Cochlear implant/BAHA Cochlear implant/BAHA

(* Currently recognized by American Board of Medical Subspecialties)


Head and neck oncology

Otology and neurotology


Rhinology includes nasal dysfunction and sinus diseases.

Pediatric otorhinolaryngology


Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a one-year fellowship open to otorhinolaryngologists and plastic surgeons who wish to specialize in the aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the head, face, and neck.

See also


  1. ^ "otolaryngologist" entry in: Peter Harris, Sue Nagy, Nicholas Vardaxis, Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions - Australian & New Zealand Edition, Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009.

External links

Associations and Societies
  • http://jemds.com/latest-articles.php?at_id=5185 PAPILLARY CARCINOMA IN THYROGLOSSAL CYST
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society (The Trilogical Society)
  • American Head and Neck Society
  • British Association of Otorhinolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons
  • Australian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Canadian Society of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
  • The Voice Foundation
  • American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology
  • International Federation of Oto-rhino-laryngological Societies
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy
  • American Broncho-Esophagological Association
  • American Laryngological Association
  • Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children
  • European Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies
  • American Rhinologic Society
  • American Otological Society
  • Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
  • Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Journal of Voice
  • Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
  • Journal of Laryngology and Otology
  • TWJ Foundation

Further reading

  • Pearls and pitfalls in head and neck surgery- practical tips to minimize complications, Editors:C.R.Cernea/F.L.Dias/D.Fliss/R.A.Lima/E.N.Myers/W.I.Wei, ISBN 978-3-8055-8425-8. 3 tables, 2008.
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