Each year millions of Americans experience ailments of the ears, nose, and throat (ENT)—with a significant number occurring in children and adolescents. NYU Lutheran Medical Center is addressing these problems head on for families in Brooklyn through an expanded ENT program under the auspices of the nationally ranked Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Seth E. Kaplan, MD, will lead the expansion of ENT services at NYU Lutheran as chief of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. Dr. Kaplan graduated with honors from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. He went on to complete his residency training in otolaryngology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, followed by a fellowship in laryngology-professional voice and swallowing disorders at the Cleveland Clinic.
Joining him is Kim A. Baker, MD, a pediatric ENT specialist. An alumna of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she completed her residency at University of Maryland Medical Center and a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO.
“Their recruitment allows us to add the nationally renowned pediatric and adult ENT services of NYU Langone to NYU Lutheran’s rapidly expanding roster of medical specialties available directly in Brooklyn,” says J. Thomas Roland, MD, the Mendik Foundation Professor of Otolaryngology and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at NYU Langone. “The deepening partnership with NYU Langone in Manhattan makes it possible to attract top-notch specialists to our Brooklyn campus.”
ENT Issues in Adults
Kaplan looks forward to bringing his expertise to Brooklyn, the borough in which he was born. “We are excited to build the otolaryngology service at NYU Lutheran, and our Brooklyn network of physicians, from the ground up,” he says. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality and level of ear, nose, and throat care that has not previously been available in this community.”
Kaplan further adds, “I love my field of practice because it allows me to focus on helping people who have issues with basic senses or functions, for example, issues with breathing, swallowing, smell, taste, and hearing. As we grow and expand, we intend to bring in more subspecialists and become a center that matches our Manhattan counterpart.”
Some of the more common ENT problems seen in adults include chronic sinusitis, allergies, hearing loss, ear infections, balance disorders, head and neck cancer, thyroid and parathyroid issues, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Kaplan also has additional training in airway, voice, and swallowing disorders, and will serve as an extension in Brooklyn of NYU Langone’s world-renowned Voice Center. Specifically, his clinical interests in this arena include dysphonia or voice changes, presbyphonia or the aging voice, hoarseness, vocal fold paralysis, chronic cough, respiratory papillomatosis, airway stenosis, Zenker’s diverticulum, and laryngeal cancer.
“I treat professional voice users—but that doesn’t limit us just to singers,” he says. “It means teachers, police officers, physicians, phone operators, or anyone who is dependent on their voice to function and work.”
Kaplan also provides expertise in microphonosurgery, laser surgery treatments and related office-based procedures.
Tonsillitis Remains Persistent ENT Problem in Children
A common issue Kaplan and Baker encounter are children with enlarged tonsils. Over the years, surgical treatment has moved from one end of the spectrum to the other.
“Today, we are more selective in choosing which patients with a history of recurrent tonsil infections or complications of these infections are appropriate candidates for tonsillectomy in accordance with the clinical practice guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology,” Baker says. “Enlarged tonsils and adenoids also can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea resulting in poor sleep, behavior issues, and other difficulties.”
She points out, “Many of these procedures in otherwise healthy children can be safely performed as ambulatory surgery at NYU Lutheran, and do not typically require overnight hospitalization.”
An additional benefit to Brooklyn residents is that when surgery is required for more complex pediatric ENT cases, it can be performed at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York at NYU Langone in Manhattan. Hassenfeld’s more than 400 doctors—along with nurses, child life specialists, social workers, and other medical professionals—are committed to providing personalized, compassionate care that addresses the needs of the entire family. Specialists there treat children with conditions ranging from minor illnesses to complex, more serious issues at locations throughout the New York metropolitan area.
“We work very closely with other departments in the NYU Langone network to ensure that we are evaluating patients to the fullest extent and providing solutions and care for the most complex of patient issues,” Kaplan adds.