Getting to know each other

ent 1

At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, we treat children, not conditions. We realize that making a toddler hear more clearly or reconstructing a baby’s face may change him on the outside. But we also focus on what’s happening emotionally to kids and their families.

During our first meeting with you, we’ll talk about what is happening with your child and, just as importantly, we’ll listen to your questions and concerns. This is our area of expertise, but this is your child — and we’ll make him feel better together. 

The way we first meet depends on your child’s situation. Our patients are diagnosed with an ear, nose, throat  (ENT) or head and neck condition at one of three different times:

  • Before birth. Some ENT or head and neck disorders are first uncovered during fetal diagnosis, including cleft and craniofacial issues. In that case, our team offers prenatal counseling and services from a team of experts, including a perinatologist (obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies), a neonatologist (pediatrician who specializes in treating sick newborns), and other specialists who work together to prepare your baby for the best possible start in life. 
  • At birth. Some babies are transferred to Children’s soon after birth for immediate, specialized care. Depending on where your baby is born, you may arrive by ambulance, helicopter or plane.
  • After birth. Some children aren’t diagnosed or don’t need treatment until later in life. In that case, our first meeting may be at the Children’s Hospital’s ENT and facial plastic surgery clinic located in Minneapolis or St. Paul. 

Preparing for a clinic visit

If your child’s care journey starts at Children’s ENT and facial plastic surgery clinic, knowing what to expect helps make the first visit less stressful. Before the visit, talk about it with your child. Show your child a photo of the doctor from our directory. With younger kids, it may also help to draw pictures (stick figures work just fine!).

To help us complete initial paperwork and concentrate on your child’s care, it’s best to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Also, be sure to bring any previose X-rays. That way, we can zip through the registration and insurance process (remember to bring your insurance card and co-pay) and concentrate on what’s most important to us—talking with you and taking great care of your child.

Your first clinic visit may take as little as 15-20 minutes or as long as an hour depending on whether your child needs an audiogram, an X-ray/CT scan, or other diagnostic testing as part of the visit. You and your child will meet with your pediatric otolaryngologist — a specialist in treating children’s ENT, head and neck conditions. The ENT doctor will assess your child’s health, ask about any symptoms your child is having and review the results of any tests.

And if your child’s condition requires the expertise of additional Children’s programs, including oncology or cardiology, we will orchestrate your access to these specialties. Coordinating multiple services results in better care for children and increased convenience for families.  

If our team recommends surgery for your child’s ENT, head or neck condition, we will help you with every detail, including scheduling, pre-op guidelines and answers to any questions you have.

Continuing the care journey

As your child’s ENT care journey progresses, we’ll partner with you to make the next steps as smooth as possible. Whether you are with us for a day or for years to come, we are here to answer any questions or concerns you have. 


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