Categorized | Health

Greater Knoxville Ear Nose & Throat

With Experience on Your Side, the Sky is the Limit

Greater Knoxville Ear Nose  ThroatDiseases and disorders of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck impact the lives of millions around the world. Unfortunately, East Tennessee is known for the above average occurrences of things such as allergies and chronic sinusitis. Greater Knoxville Ear Nose & Throat (GKENT) has been caring for this community for nearly three decades. Simply put, their approach to care is different in that they draw from the experience and expertise of eight board certified physicians and four onsite audiologists to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to diagnostics and treatment.

EK: Otolaryngologist is a big word. Tell us about Otolaryngology and what you do.

Dr. DePersio: Otolaryngologists, commonly referred to as ENTs, are trained in the medical and surgical evaluation and treatment of patients with diseases and/or disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. At GKENT, we offer services and treatments ranging from sinus disorders, sleep apnea, facial trauma or deformities, and balance disorders.

At GKENT, we take our practice one step further by offering comprehensive audiology services, including custom Earmolds and Earplugs, Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs), and Hearing Aids including the Ponto System, a proven bone anchored hearing system. We offer many styles of Hearing Aids ranging in size, power, and electrical structure to provide the best desired outcome for patients. Personally, I offer patients a unique expertise as the area’s only fellow in the American Head and Neck Society and board certified in facial plastic surgery.

EK: There is a strong emphasis in today’s healthcare on patient-centered care. What does that mean to GKENT, and what will patients experience when they walk through your doors?

Dr. Baker: For nearly 30 years, GKENT has been the region’s premier otolaryngology center for both children and adults. Our eight board certified physicians and four audiologists work collaboratively to provide individualized care to each patient. We are consistently recognized as leaders in our field and honored as US News Best ENT Practice, while three of our physicians were named 2014 Best Doctors in America.

In addition, GKENT now has five convenient locations to serve our patients: North Knoxville Medical Center, UT Medical Center, Sevierville, Jefferson City, and we are proud to announce our newest location now open at Fort Sanders West. From check-in to check-out, we work hard to provide the best possible experience and outcomes for our patients.

EK: Allergies are always a hot topic in East Tennessee. Are there any new advancements in the treatment of pesky seasonal allergies?

Dr. Horton: There are a number of common methods used to determine which substances a person is allergic to. Once identified, a GKENT physician will work closely with each individual patient to recommend an individual plan to restore quality of life. GKENT was the first in the area to offer Sublingual Immunotherapy or SLIT, the convenient, safe, affordable alternative to allergy shots. One drop, under the tongue, once a day eliminates the need for allergy injections for most people. Some individuals may still require traditional allergy shots, antihistamines, environmental control, avoidance, and, in the most severe cases, surgery in their personalized treatment plan.

EK: What role do allergies play in sinusitis, and how do you treat Chronic Sinusitis?

Dr. Rosenbaum: An allergic reaction in general terms is an exaggerated response to an irritant. Inhaled allergens lead to swelling of the mucous membranes, causing blockage or drainage, with the end result often sinusitis. GKENT physicians utilize comprehensive strategies, combining medical and surgical treatment for disorders of the Nose & Sinus. In-office Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure in which physicians open up chronically inflamed sinuses in the same way heart surgeons open up blocked arteries with balloon angioplasty. Endoscopic Sinus Surgery removes sinus blockages utilizing an endoscope to magnify the sinus tissues and specialized instruments to remove causes of the blockage. In cases where a deviated septum is obstructing drainage from the sinuses, GKENT physicians may choose septoplasty to repair this blockage.

EK: Sleep Apnea seems to be a common issue that can be quite dangerous if untreated. What can you do to treat these issues?

Dr. Rathfoot: Often people realize they have a sleep disorder when they find themselves waking up at night or dozing off easily during the day, which indeed can be extremely dangerous. Sleep apnea is an obstruction of the airway resulting in pauses in breathing during sleep. Snoring occurs when airflow through passages in the back of the mouth and nose are blocked, resulting in obstructed breathing. Both sleep apnea and snoring are common sleep disorders that can be very dangerous if left untreated.

A sleep study can be performed to determine if a sleep disorder is present. Many patients are administered a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) or a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for treatment. In some cases, patients undergo a surgical placement of small rods, or Pillar Implants, in the soft palate, which leads to hardening of that palate to reduce relaxation and vibration of muscles in the back of the mouth.

EK: Is there anything else you would like to add before closing?

Dr. Crawley: GKENT is honored to have a physical presence in West Knoxville where so many of our patients reside. We value the feedback of our patients and continually seek ways to better serve them. Providing convenient access to care ranks high on our list of priorities. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 865-244-4396 or visit

Greater Knoxville Ear Nose & Throat

Leave a Reply