Hearing, speaking and breathing: These typically automatic actions enable your communication and, indeed, life itself. When any of the intricate systems in your ears, nose or throat suffer from injury or illness, turn to otolaryngologists at Palo Alto Medical Foundation for support. These specialists diagnose and treat conditions that affect the ears, nose and sinuses, voice box (larynx), oral cavity, and mouth and throat (upper pharynx), as well as structures of the neck and face.
Using state-of-the-art technology and research, our otolaryngologists across the Bay Area care for a wide range of conditions, from sinusitis and hearing loss to obstructive sleep apnea and head and neck cancer. Otolaryngology differs from other specialties because doctors receive training in both medicine and surgery—so you won’t need a referral to a separate surgeon.
Our staff will also help you with medication management, surgery prep and post-op care, and education or support as needed throughout your treatment and healing process.
If you suspect that you have hearing loss, our ENT doctors work closely with our audiology department to test your hearing and improve it through our many medical and rehabilitation services.
When your child suffers painful ear infections or needs attention for a structural problem such as cleft palate, our family-centered pediatric team ensures that you and your little one will receive personalized treatment options to restore health with a minimum of stress.
Otolaryngologists can also perform:
- Sinus surgery
- Nose surgery (rhinoplasty, septoplasty, turbinate reduction, reduction of nasal fractures)
- Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery
- Ear surgery (ear tubes, tympanoplasty, mastoidectomy)
- Tonsil and adenoid removal
- Surgery for head and neck tumors of the skin, oral cavity and salivary glands
- Thyroid and parathyroid surgery
- Upper airway surgery for sleep apnea
What’s Unique at PAMF
You may know Santa Cruz as an international surfing mecca, but PAMF doctors have also made it a world center for treating "surfer's ear," a serious hearing condition that occurs when your ears get repeated exposure to wind and cold water.
Dr. Douglas Hetzler, a PAMF ear, nose and throat specialist at the Santa Cruz Medical Clinic, is one of a handful of California physicians performing a unique form of surfer’s ear surgery that uses very small chisels to remove bone growths from your ear canal. Because this surgery is less invasive than traditional techniques, you heal more quickly.
Dr. Hetzler has improved the hearing of thousands of people since he began performing this specialized surgery nearly 20 years ago.