Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

University of Florida’s Department of Otolaryngology Leads the Way in Care of Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions

Dear Colleagues,

The team of board-certified physicians at the University of Florida’s Department of Otolaryngology is uniquely qualified to deliver the highest quality of care and the most advanced treatments to patients with a full spectrum of ear, nose and throat conditions, including head and neck cancer. Our department maintains two outpatient practices and conducts original otolaryngologic research at its laboratory facilities. In addition to its outstanding residency training program, the department also offers a superb clinical fellowship in advanced head and neck oncologic and reconstructive surgery.

The UF Department of Otolaryngology comprises 13 faculty in seven divisions:

  • Allergy and Sleep Surgery Center
  • Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Head and Neck Surgical Oncology
  • Laryngology and Professional Voice Center
  • Otology/Neurotology
  • Pediatric ENT/Pediatric Airway Center
  • Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery

The Head and Neck Surgical Oncology division brings together our experts in several specialties to provide personalized treatment for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, salivary glands and thyroid. The department is one of the premier centers in the United States to offer a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach and minimally invasive surgery to address skull base tumors in both children and adults. The department utilizes advanced 3D modeling and incorporates virtual surgical planning to guide complex head and neck surgeries, and to improve patient outcomes. 

Survival is not our only goal. Our faculty also strives to improve quality of life for people who have survived neurologic insults or cancer. For individuals experiencing voice and swallowing disorders, the approach is also multidisciplinary, involving close collaboration between the otolaryngologist and the speech-language pathologist to determine the cause and to create a customized treatment plan that includes surgical intervention—often in the office—to address anatomic limitations as quickly as possible. Our department is one of the few centers in the nation to offer comprehensive oral rehabilitation and full dental restoration.

In addition to our commitment to patient care, our department’s dedication to research has enabled our investigators to focus on novel topics. Our team has been investigating toxicities associated with commonly used ear medications, notably quinolone ear drops. In a groundbreaking analysis published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2017 that included 96,595 children, our research team found that those who received quinolone ear drops after tympanostomy tubes had a higher risk of tympanic membrane perforations than those who received neomycin ear drops. We have been able to confirm the adverse impact of quinolones on tympanic membranes in animal models.  Soon to be published articles show that quinolone ear drops may lead to perforations of intact tympanic membranes. 

Investigators within our department are focused on other exciting topics, as well. For example, Natalie Silver, M.D., and her UF collaborators recently reported the results of the first known study demonstrating antitumor efficacy of tumor-derived RNA nanoparticle vaccines in an oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma syngeneic mouse model. These results will serve as the foundation for future clinical trials aimed at reprogramming the immune system with engineered personalized RNA nanoparticle vaccines.

Now that you’ve learned more about us, please consider voting for us for the U.S. News & World Report rankings for ear, nose and throat.

Warmest regards,
Patrick Antonelli, M.D., FACS,
Chair, Department of Otolaryngology
UF College of Medicine

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