Tag Archives: Lexington ENT & Allergy

Pediatric ENT Surgery Close to Home

Most parents have suffered with their little ones through ear infections or tonsillitis. They may have even heard dreaded words that their child needed surgery to make things better. Thankfully, Lexington Medical Center works to make those situations as easy as possible for families.
In addition to a wide variety of outpatient surgery programs for adults, the outpatient surgery department at the hospital’s community medical center in Lexington offers pediatric ear, nose, and throat surgeries by doctors from Lexington ENT & Allergy, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. The physicians perform approximately 50 surgeries on children each month.

The most common cases are ear tube placements.

Dr. Andrew Battiata with a young patient at Lexington Medical Center Lexington’s outpatient surgery department

“Children are more prone to ear infections because the mechanism that equalizes pressure behind the eardrum is not fully developed yet,” said Andrew P. Battiata, MD, of Lexington ENT & Allergy. “Ear tube surgery is a simple and quick procedure where doctors place a small, plastic tube in the ear drum to equalize pressure and prevent ear infections. It helps children avoid antibiotics and stay out the doctor’s office.”

Treating children of all ages, nearly 50% of the practice’s pediatric ENT surgery patients are children under the age of 12. And, all of the physicians have training in pediatric ear, nose and throat problems.

The doctors at Lexington ENT & Allergy can also remove tonsils and adenoids in the outpatient surgery setting.

“The most common reasons we take tonsils and adenoids out are the obstructive symptoms such as snoring, mouth breathing and obstructive sleep apnea,” Dr. Battiata said.

The patient experience at Lexington Medical Center’s outpatient surgery facilities has consistently measured in the top 5% of all surgery centers in the nation. 
The clinical teams enjoy making the youngest patients feel welcome. A nurse greets each child arriving for surgery in the lobby and spends time playing with them for a few minutes. Each pre-op patient is offered a hand-held, portable DVD player. Children can choose what movies they’d like to watch.
Pre-op room curtains provide the perfect backdrop for the puppets the nurses use with the children while doctors are talking to their parents. Each young patient also receives a “Lexy Bear,” a Lexington Medical Center teddy bear, wearing a surgical cap and mask.
The children head to the operating room for surgery in the comfort of a red wagon that parades the hallways like a train. In the OR, anesthesia surgical masks are called “astronaut masks,” and children learn that they help you sleep and fly to the moon.

Clockwise from top left: Andrew Battiata, MD; Edward, A Woody. MD; Neal W. Burkhalter, MD; and Melanie W. Seybt, MD

All of the nurses have training in pediatric advanced life support. Should an emergency happen, they can act on it quickly. There are also two nurses available per child in the recovery room.
After surgery, nurses rock the children in rocking chairs until they wake up. When they open their eyes, Mom and Dad come in and a popsicle is served.
Patients who are receiving ear tubes are usually there for about two hours. The procedure itself takes about 15 to 20 minutes; most of the time is spent in pre-op and recovery.

Patients who have their tonsils and adenoids removed stay for about three hours.
When the child is awake, meets all criteria and the parents are comfortable, they can go home.

“It’s a great atmosphere that serves our patients well,” Dr. Battiata said.
And that’s just what the doctor ordered.
Lexington ENT & Allergy
Lexington Medical Park 2, Suite 200
146 North Hospital Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 936 – 7530


Spring Is In the Air… So Is Pollen

Sneezing, wheezing, hives, nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes – more than 67 million Americans suffer from these and other seasonal allergy symptoms.

Here’s what the experts say:
• Hot, dry, windy days usually mean more pollens and molds are in the air.
• Rain showers tend to wash pollens out of the air.
• Generally, at ground level, the peak pollen count is between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.
• Pollen counts fall during times of higher humidity and rise during low humidity.
• The warmer the temperature, the greater the pollen.

According to Andrew Battiata, MD, a physician at Lexington ENT & Allergy, the severity of an allergic reaction can vary from mild discomfort to life threatening situations.

Dr. Battiata

Dr. Battiata

“An allergy is characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to a foreign substance (called an allergen) that is eaten, inhaled, injected or touched. This overreaction can result in symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. In severe cases, it can also result in rashes, hives, lower blood pressure, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks and even death,” said Dr. Battiata.

For people with allergies, their immune systems work too hard and react even when relatively harmless substances, such as pollen, are present. And left untreated, allergies can lead to chronic health problems.

“By far, the most common side effect from an untreated allergy is frequent sinus infections that require steroids and/or antibiotics, or even sinus surgery. People with untreated allergies also miss time from school or work and have decreased quality of life,” said Dr. Battiata.

field of flowers_1In the spring, the most common allergen is tree pollen, which begins to release between January and April, depending on the climate and location. The trees include elm, pine, birch, ash, hickory, poplar and cypress…just to name a few. Grass pollen takes over in summertime, and weed pollen appears in the fall.

And allergies can be both environmental and genetic.

“If one parent has allergies of any type, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have allergies,” he said.

So testing is important, too.

Dr. Battiata recommends skin testing as the most accurate way to determine allergies. Blood testing, known as radioallergosorbent (RAST) testing, is also available.

Allergies and their symptoms can be a big problem, but there are ways to find relief.

“There are three types of treatments that can be used in combination: avoidance of the allergen, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other medications, and immunotherapy (allergy shots) to desensitize the allergic response,” said Dr. Battiata.

Although avoiding all airborne allergens is virtually impossible, knowing the peak pollen season and tracking daily pollen counts can help minimize exposure.

You can also use allergy devices in your home, such as an air cleaner and air conditioner, which will help remove pollen and mold spores from the air. Be sure to keep the filters clean!