ENT Surgery at the Middleman Family Pavilion: Carter’s Story

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When Carter failed his newborn hearing test, his doctor wasn’t initially concerned. But after multiple failed tests, it became apparent that the 6-month-old needed the care of an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist. Fortunately, the Middleman Family Pavilion at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, King of Prussia offers expert ENT care — conveniently located close to Carter’s home.

Carter and his parents After Carter’s failed newborn hearing test, his family was referred to the Department of Audiology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for a complete hearing evaluation. Though Carter could hear perfectly with his left ear, he again failed the hearing test in his right. Fluid was the likely culprit, and the audiologist recommended a follow-up test in three months. When Carter failed his third hearing test, however, he was referred to Steven E. Sobol, MD, MSc, FRCS(C), in the Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) at CHOP.

Surgical care close to home

Carter was 6 months old when the family met with Dr. Sobol in CHOP’s King of Prussia Specialty Care Center. Dr. Sobol confirmed Carter still had fluid in his right ear and recommended ear tubes.

Ear tubes are tiny cylinders that are surgically inserted into the ear drum to prevent fluid build-up. Though Carter only had hearing loss in his right ear, Dr. Sobol recommended placing tubes in both ears to prevent possible fluid retention in the left ear and a likely second surgery.

Because Carter’s family lives in Havertown, they scheduled the surgery at the Middleman Family Pavilion, CHOP’s brand-new inpatient hospital in King of Prussia.

King of Prussia is easier for us to get to than the Philadelphia hospital,” says Carter’s mom, Katelyn. “Parking’s easier, too.

Carter’s surgery was scheduled for Jan. 26, 2022, opening day at the new hospital.

Mom and child smiling in a car

Easy to Get to, Easy to Park

The Middleman Family Pavilion is easily accessible for families throughout the region. Parking is easy — and free!

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An emotional day made easy

Carter on the day of surgery On the day of Carter’s surgery, Katelyn was very anxious. “I trusted CHOP and Dr. Sobol,” she says, “but I was so nervous for Carter to go under! He’s my first baby. I was a mess.”

Carter’s care team at the Middleman Family Pavilion provided the support Katelyn needed. A child life specialist had age-appropriate toys ready to distract and entertain Carter during his pre-procedural exam. A kind nurse brought Katelyn water and a cool washcloth to help sooth her nerves.

“They were really good,” says Katelyn. “They explained everything and were super friendly. They put us at ease. And Carter loved one of the toys so much, my husband has since bought it for him!”

Ear tube surgery typically takes around 15 minutes, and Carter’s parents were soon able to visit him in a recovery room. Within an hour, the family was on their way home, making Carter the first ENT patient to have surgery in the Middleman Pavilion.

“Everyone did such a great job,” says Katelyn. “It was a quick procedure with a quick recovery. I would definitely recommend CHOP to anyone!”

The family will follow up with Dr. Sobol in about a month, and the tubes should remain in place anywhere from six to 18 months before being naturally forced out as Carter grows. For most young children, ear tubes are highly effective at treating ear fluid, and Dr. Sobol expects a positive outcome for Carter.

In the meantime, this 8-month-old is busy learning how to crawl and stand and playing with his new toy.

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