What to Expect | Head and Neck Surgery

What to Expect at Your First Appointment at Head and Neck Surgery

There are many different diseases of the ear, nose and throat, and our providers offer specialty care for a wide variety of conditions. We offer care through many different programs at Cincinnati Children’s, and we want to connect you with the right resources at the right time. This first appointment is your entry point to the head and neck surgery division.

Making an Appointment at Head and Neck Surgery

We want it to be easy for you to get the care you or your child needs. You can use this form or contact us directly to schedule an appointment. Or, your pediatrician or provider can refer you to our division. We also take referrals from our Emergency Department and other hospitals. The Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery is on the third floor of Location C (Outpatient Services Building) on the Burnet Campus of Cincinnati Children’s. You also can schedule an appointment at one of our outpatient centers throughout greater Cincinnati.

On the Day of Your Visit to Head and Neck Surgery

Arriving At Your Appointment

Our providers will conduct a complete evaluation of your child at your first visit. Please arrive at the clinic 30 minutes ahead of time. This allows 15 minutes to park and walk from the parking garage (if you are visiting us at the Burnet Campus), and 15 minutes to check in at our front desk. Bring your most recent insurance card, ADC/Medicaid card or BCMH (Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps) letter of approval with you.

At Your Appointment

Our goal is to determine your child’s diagnosis and the best way to treat them. This first visit will involve a physical exam, and also could include imaging studies and lab tests. Depending on your child’s diagnosis, you may have to see multiple specialists.

After Your Visit to Head and Neck Surgery

You will receive an “After Visit Summary” at the end of your appointment. It will include important details about upcoming appointments, test results, referrals to specialists, and all medications (including new prescriptions). It also will include contact information for your child’s care team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My child has surgery tomorrow. When should she stop eating and drinking?

A: Patients should not eat any solid food after midnight. They can have clear liquids (apple juice, gelatin, water) until four hours before the time of surgery. Orange juice and formula are not clear liquids, so do not give them to your child during this time period.


At what point does my child need pressure equalizing (PE) tubes?

A: Here are some indications that your child may be a candidate for PE tube insertion:

  • Your child has otitis media with effusion that has been present for eight to 12 weeks, in spite of adequate medical therapy
  • Recurrent episodes of acute otitis media (at least four a year)
  • Persistent high negative middle ear pressure associated with one of the following: conductive hearing loss, persistent or recurrent otalgia, persistent or recurrent vertigo, or a retraction pocked of the tympanic membrane
  • Complications of otitis media

My child has had a few episodes of tonsillitis. When should his tonsils be removed?

A: Here are some indications that your child is a candidate for tonsillectomy:

  • Seven episodes of tonsillitis in one year
  • Five episodes of tonsillitis per year for two years
  • Three episodes of tonsillitis per year for three years
  • Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
  • Severe upper airway obstruction (not obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Suspected malignancy of the tonsils

My child is scheduled for surgery next month. When should I fill out the pre-operation physical examination form?

A: The pre-operation physical examination form must be filled out by your child’s pediatrician or family doctor. Make an appointment for the examination no more than 30 days prior to the date of surgery. Bring the completed form with you on the day of surgery.

Should I tell anyone my child is taking medication for seizures?

A: If your child takes any medications on a regular basis, make a list of them. Include the name, strength and your child’s current dose of each medication. Bring this list with you on the day of surgery. It is not necessary to bring the medication.

Please arrive at the appropriate office appointment site approximately 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment for registration purposes. You will need to bring your most recent insurance card. ADC / Medicaid card, or (Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps) letter of approval with you.

Many insurance companies require referral forms or their own insurance claim forms be submitted before reimbursement will be made. Please supply us with all necessary forms at the time or your office visit. If your insurance company requires referral and we do not have that referral at the time of your visit, you will be required to sign a release. In addition, all CO-payments are due at the time of your office visit. For your convenience we accept cash, check, money order, Visa, or MasterCard.

The insurance policy you carry is a legal contract between you and your insurance company. Although we bill your insurance company directly, we ask that you monitor your monthly billing statements from us to assure that your insurance company pays your claim in a timely manner.

We accept all commercial insurance plans as well as many Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Physician Organizations (PPO). Remember to always check with your insurance company to see if it will cover our services. Our billing office is available to assist you with any billing questions at 513-636-7296.