Easing Ear Pain: Hummingbird Takes Flight

Brand new technology is altering the way the most common pediatric surgery in the United States is being performed, and Fairview is on the front line of that change.

Previously, children’s ear tube procedures (commonly used to treat children with persistent ear infections) required the use of general anesthesia in an operating room setting.

While older patients are able to have tubes inserted in a physician’s office, young children and infants are typically unable to sit still or tolerate the procedure without sedation.

The Hummingbird™ TTS device, produced and developed by Preceptis Medical, allows physicians the option to use conscious sedation to keep the child comfortable but awake during the short procedure.

“Families like having the option of what type of anesthesia, or lack thereof, is used,” says Daniel Yoon, MD. “The tube itself is equally effective versus others on the market but because the device is so fast at deploying the tube, it makes it very amenable to a quick, conscious sedation procedure just using nitrous gas and no anesthetic.”

While nitrous oxide is a common choice, the sedation regimen ultimately used is up to the discretion of the anesthesiologist. Yoon says although there is still open debate on whether a brief, general anesthetic has any proven harm to children, nitrous has been used safely in outpatient settings and dentistry for decades and recovery from nitrous sedation is generally faster, as well.

Fairview leading the way

Daniel and his colleague Majid Shafiei, MD, are currently the only two ear, nose and throat Fairview physicians performing this technique, and there are only a handful of other physicians performing the procedure throughout the state.

Daniel and Majid see patients at Fairview clinics in Wyoming, Fridley and Brooklyn Park and perform the procedure in Maple Grove.

Fairview was among the first to offer the procedure to the public in the Twin Cities area. In addition to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, Fairview also participated in the previous clinical studies.

“I think patients come away feeling good about reducing the drug exposure for their child, and they seem to recover faster, as well,” says Majid. “In all other clinical measures, this procedure is equivalent to conventional techniques, so I think the patients or parents who benefits from this technique the most are the ones who are interested or concerned enough to seek it out.”

Call 1-855-FAIRVIEW (324-7843) to schedule an appointment and learn more.

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