Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

McGovern Medical School

ORL Notes

ORL Notes (formerly ORL Progress Notes), our second on-line departmental newsletter, provides information about developments in the Department. The newsletter’s target audience includes physicians and health care professionals as well as patients and members of the general public.

Small, Smart Technology Opens a World of Sound for Kaci Mueller

Between the 4th and 8th grades, Kaci Mueller suffered repeated ear infections and underwent more than 10 surgeries for cholesteatoma, including a canal wall down tympanomastoidectomy. Today, thanks to the skill of two expert practitioners in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Mueller is successfully negotiating the world of sound with a technologically advanced bone-anchored hearing system.

“When we first saw Kaci, she had significant hearing loss on both sides, with the left side more severe than the right,” says Sancak Yuksel, MD, an associate professor of otorhinolaryngology at the medical school. “We repaired the right eardrum and when we found that she had a fixed ossicle, we did an ossicular chain reconstruction and placed a prosthesis. She did well initially but later the prosthesis became displaced, and her hearing went back to baseline. In a second surgery, we implanted another prosthesis that returned her hearing to normal.”

After evaluation of her left ear, Dr. Yuksel thought she would benefit from a bone-anchored hearing aid, and placed a Cochlear™ Baha®, which bypasses the damaged middle ear, sending sounds directly to the inner ear. After recovering from the surgery, Mueller, who is 24, was in the office of audiologist Taylor Remick, AuD, CCC-A, for activation and programming of the device.

“Dr. Yuksel surgically implanted the internal portion of the Baha in Kaci’s temporal bone, and then I programmed the external processor, which anchors to the exterior skull through a magnet,” Dr. Remick says. “After programming it, we paired it to an app on her smartphone, which streams via Bluetooth to the implant, allowing her to control the volume and frequency-shaping programs through her phone or on the device itself.”

Mueller, who teaches prekindergarten in a Head Start program in Lake Charles, Louisiana, currently has five Baha programs that adjust for high-volume situations like her classroom, for road noise and for streaming devices. “If I’m in a conference at school, I can put my wireless microphone in the middle of the table to pick up voices and eliminate background noise,” she says. “I can listen to music directly from my phone and take calls through the sound processor.

Dr. Remick has been able to create programs for so many of my everyday environments. That’s the most exciting part – it’s been such a cool thing to be a part of and amazing beyond my expectations.”  If Mueller loses the external sound processor, her phone app allows her to track its location. If the processor battery is low, the phone alerts her. Dr. Remick also geo-tagged her school so that when she arrives in her classroom, the Baha detects her location and automatically switches to the volume-reduction school program.

“Growing up with hearing loss, I was offered so many accommodations and different devices, but I was self-conscious about all of them,” says Mueller, who makes the two-hour drive from Lake Charles to Houston twice a year for testing, cleaning and software updates. “I play guitar, write music and enjoy jam sessions. During the past two years I’d lost the ability to hear certain tones. After I got the Baha, the depth and precision of sound is so much more than I ever thought would be possible. I haven’t been able to put my guitar down since!”

“People ask me what it felt like when I first started wearing the Baha,” she says. “It wasn’t a big, remarkable change. It was all the little things I noticed. I could hear my foot tapping in the audiologist’s office. I could hear my turn signal clicking in the car. I’m so amazed to hear what I was missing out on. I can’t stop tapping people on the shoulder, asking did you hear that thunder, can you hear the rain falling, did you hear that background music? I am incredibly blessed to finally hear the sounds I never had the chance to experience before this surgery.”

UT ORL Notes Archives

  1. Small, Smart Technology Opens a World of Sound for Kaci Mueller
  2. Citardi and Luong Named to Best Doctors List for Otorhinolaryngology
  3. UT Physicians Otolaryngology at Texas Medical Center Clinic Redesign Improves the Patient Experience
  4. Revision Sinus Surgery Sets the Stage for a Successful Outcome
  5. Under Pressure: On Call During Hurricane Harvey
  6. Dissolvable Steroid Implant May Improve Sinus Surgery Outcomes
  7. Dr. Martin Citardi Recognized with AAO-HNS Distinguished Service Award
  8. Non-Pharmacologic Relaxation Therapy for In-office ENT Procedures
  9. Houston Otolaryngologist Battles Hurricane Harvey
  10. Reversing Hearing Loss: A Fresh Start for Gail Abeita
  11. UTHealth ORL is the First in the U.S. to Use New Sinus Navigation System
  12. Virtual Presurgical Planning Optimizes the Outcome for a Patient with Ameloblastoma
  13. Dr. Amber Luong Recognized for Clinical Excellence by UTHealth’s Women Faculty Forum
  14. Dr. William Yao Selected Faculty Member of the Year by ORL Residents
  15. Dr. Soham Roy, Dr. William Yao and Dr. Ibrahim Alava Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards
  16. Save the Date! Lone Star Rhinology and Rhinoplasty Course Scheduled for November
  17. Dr. Amber Luong Receives 2017 Helen F. Krause, MD Memorial Trailblazer Award
  18. ORL Frontiers 2017 Recap
  19. Ossicular Chain Reconstruction: A Home Run for Leslie Horne After a Devastating Auto Accident
  20. Eulice Vial’s Christmas Miracle: A Singer Regains Her Voice
  21. Three ORL Specialists Named to H Texas Magazine Top Doctors List for 2017
  22. Samantha Wild: Making the Difference in Patient Care
  23. Otorhinolaryngology and Neurosurgery Team Up to Maximize the Outcome for a Patient with Pituitary Tumor
  24. UT Physicians Otorhinolaryngology Holds Annual Free Cancer Screening Clinic
  25. Audiology Open House
  26. Stanford Professor Peter Koltai to Speak at ORL Frontiers 2017
  27. Laryngotracheal Reconstruction: A Long-awaited Resolution for Jayda Hector
  28. Dr. Michael Byrd Named Chief of Surgery
  29. Dr. Ibrahim Alava Recognized as a Texas Super Doctors Rising Star
  30. Introducing ORL Notes
  31. Beyond Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction: Correction of Nasal Valve Stenosis Adds Synergy to the Mix
  32. Ishaan Pavuluri Makes a Comeback
  33. Supraglottoplasty for Neonatal Laryngomalacia
  34. Eight ORL Specialists Named to Top Doctors Lists for 2016
  35. 2016 International Presentations
  36. ORL Department Announces Faculty Promotions
  37. Dr. Yuksel and Dr. Ho Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards
  38. Resident Wins Award for Research at Houston Society of Otolaryngology Meeting
  39. Dr. Byrd Recognized by Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital for Quality and Patient Safety
  40. Dr. Conderman Elected Houston Society of Otolaryngology Officer
  41. Texas Hill Country ENT Symposium Recap
  42. A Drug-eluting Stent Offers a Young Man a Small-but-Mighty Solution to a Chronic Problem
  43. Around and Around: What’s Happening When the Spinning Just Won’t Stop?
  44. The Petty Case: Setting a Good Course Through the Perfect Storm of Allergens
  45. A Novel Lymphatic Imaging System and a Disease-focused Treatment Team Improve Survivorship in Head and Neck Cancer
  46. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis: A Patient Benefits from Multidisciplinary Care
  47. Behind the Scenes with the Surgery Schedulers
  48. On a Mission: Pitching in to Help Children Abroad
  49. AAO-HNS President Speaks at Otorhinolaryngology Frontiers 2015
  50. Seven ORL Specialists Named to Top Doctors Lists for 2015
  51. ORL’s 360 Research Program Translates New Laboratory Discoveries to Patient Care
  52. ECMO Improves Care for a Critical Tracheostomy Patient
  53. Ibrahim Alava, MD, Named a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  54. Ronda Alexander, MD, Invited to Speak at STEM Symposium
  55. With a Bone-anchored Hearing Aid, One Good Ear Helps the Other
  56. Department of Otorhinolaryngology Extends Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Expertise to The Woodlands
  57. Rapid Response and Multidisciplinary Teamwork Save a Young Man’s Life
  58. Transoral Robotic Surgery for Airway Obstruction in Pediatric Patients
  59. Kunal Jain, MD joins the Department’s Head and Neck Surgery Program
  60. Zi Yang Jiang, MD joins UTHealth Pediatric ENT Service
  61. Surgeon-performed Ultrasound Provides X-Marks-the-Spot Accuracy for Parathyroid Adenoma
  62. The Watson Case: An “Impossible” Surgery Makes a Night-and-Day Difference for a Patient with Proteus Syndrome
  63. Christian Conderman, MD joins UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology at its New Woodlands Location
  64. James Owusu, MD joins UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology at its New Woodlands Location
  65. New Clinical Learning Guidelines Transform How Medical Residency Programs Prepare Future Physicians
  66. TORS-L Eliminates the Need for Adjuvant Therapies in an Oropharyngeal Cancer Patient
  67. William Yao, MD joins Texas Sinus Institute and Texas Skull Base Physicians
  68. AAO-HNS President-elect to Speaks at 2015 Otorhinolaryngology Frontiers
  69. Surgical Fire Prevention in Laser Laryngeal Surgery
  70. The Story Behind the MicroSeismic Donation
  71. A Gift of Hearing
  72. Breath of Fresh Air
  73. Current Pediatric Guidelines for Tonsillectomy
  74. Profile in Caring: José Elías, RN, CORLN
  75. Amber Luong, MD, PhD, Awarded CCTS Grant in Support of Continued Chronic Rhinosinusitis Investigations
  76. Two ORL Faculty Members Named to Top Doctor Lists
  77. Sialendoscopy: An Innovative Minimally Invasive Approach to the Treatment of Sialolithiasis
  78. Physicians’ Mission Satisfied
  79. A Second Pair of Ears
  80. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  81. More Than 100 People Participate in UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology’s Annual Free Cancer Screening Clinic
  82. Etan Weinstock, MD, Selected Faculty Member of the Year
  83. Amber Luong, MD, PhD, Named Fellow of American College of Surgeons and Promoted to Associate Professor
  84. Memorial Hermann and UTHealth Welcome New Team Members
  85. Texas Hill Country ENT Symposium Recap
  86. Internationally Renowned Expert in Facial Cosmetic Surgery Speaks at 2014 ORL Frontiers
  87. Congratulations to Graduating Residents and Fellows
  88. Samer Fakhri, MD, Chairs Rhinology Program at Middle East Conference in Dubai, Serves as Invited Faculty in Tehran
  89. TORS-L: Transoral Robotic Surgery with CO2 Laser Offers Greater Precision for Surgeons and De-intensification of Adjuvant Therapies for Patients
  90. Reevaluating Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: Aggressive Treatment May Extend Life and Improve Its Quality
  91. UTHealth Audiology Offers Widex Zen Therapy for Tinnitus Management
  92. MicroSeismic, Inc. Gives Pediatric Patients the Gift of Hearing
  93. In Memoriam: Robert Jahrsdoerfer, MD
  94. Simultaneous Bilateral Cochlear Implants in an Infant After Meningitis
  95. Laryngotracheal Reconstruction Using Anterior Cricoid Suspension in a Three Year Old
  96. Single-Incision Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy
  97. Advanced Technology and a Strong Focus on Convenience Improve the Patient Experience
  98. Multidisciplinary Virtual Pre-surgical Planning Optimizes the Outcome for an Ameloblastoma Patient
  99. Dr. Fakhri Receives Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award
  100. IL-33-responsive Innate Lymphoid Cells Are an Important Source of IL-13 in Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps
  101. Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial of Oral Antifungal for the Treatment of Fungal-sensitive Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps
  102. Dr. Fakhri Promoted to Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  103. TLR4 Signaling in the Pathophysiology of Allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis
  104. Two ORL Faculty Members Named to Texas Super Doctors 2013 List
  105. Transoral Robotic Surgery for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  106. Lone Star Rhinology Course Attracts a National Audience
  107. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist Speaks at 2013 ORL Frontiers
  108. ORL Welcomes New Recruits
  109. UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology Holds Free Cancer Screening Clinic
  110. Two ORL Team Members Named Fellows of the American College of Surgeons
  111. Faculty Named Among Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars
  112. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  113. Translational Science Program Working to Identify Therapeutic Targets in Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  114. Preventing Surgical Fires: UTHealth Otolaryngologist Provides Expert Advice for a New FDA Safety Initiative
  115. Improving Survivorship in Head and Neck Cancer: UTHealth Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Institute of Molecular Medicine Partner on CPRIT Research Award
  116. Using Intraoperative Staining to Identify the Parathyroid Adenoma
  117. Otorhinolaryngologists Named to 2012 Best Doctors in America List
  118. Four Studies Evaluate the Effectiveness of Optical Rhinometry
  119. A Collaborative Approach Offers Patients a Less Invasive Alternative for Surgical Excision of Pituitary Tumors
  120. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist Speaks at 2012 ORL Frontiers
  121. Ron Karni, MD, Selected Faculty Member of the Year by Graduating Residents
  122. Samer Fakhri, M.D., Receives AAO Foundation Honor Award
  123. Two Audiologists Join UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology
  124. 2012 Residency and Fellowship Update
  125. Five UTHealth Medical Students Matched to Top Choice Otorhinolaryngology Residency Programs
  126. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  127. Chair of Otorhinolaryngology Named to Texas Super Doctors 2012 List
  128. Minimally Invasive Surgery for Skull Base Cancer
  129. UTHealth/Memorial Hermann Physician Joins a Medical Mission to Honduras
  130. Online Patient Access Library Offers Medical Information About ENT Diseases & Conditions to Patients
  131. Facial Reanimation Surgery Brightens a Young Boy’s Future
  132. Morphoproteomics: Driving a Shift to Personalized Care for Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma
  133. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist to Speak at 2012 ORL Frontiers
  134. UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology Department Exceeds the National Averages in Quality and Safety
  135. Rhinologist Invited to Serve as Board Examiner in the Middle East
  136. Dr. Citardi Named to the 2011 Texas Super Doctors List
  137. Make Your Voice Count!
  138. Research Update
  139. Advanced Rhinology Concepts CME Attracts a National and International Audience of Otolaryngologists
  140. Outside the Box with Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  141. The Vargas Case: Excision of a Large Benign Goiter
  142. The Reverend Williams Regains His Voice
  143. Nihal Uddin’s Journey to 360-Degree Hearing
  144. Residents Receive Research Grants
  145. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  146. Otorhinolaryngologists Named to Best Doctors in America List
  147. Russell Kridel, MD, Reelected to AMA Council Position
  148. From Bench to Bedside: Physician Researcher Amber Luong, MD, PhD Blends Basic Science with Clinical Care
  149. 2011 Advanced Rhinology Concepts Scheduled for November
  150. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist Speaks at 2011 ORL Frontiers
  151. Michael Byrd, MD Recruited to UTHealth and Memorial Hermann
  152. UT Physicians Opens Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Southwest Houston
  153. UTHealth Audiology Program Expands
  154. 9 UTHealth Medical Students Match in Otorhinolaryngology
  155. Residency and Fellowship Update
  156. Ron Karni, MD Invited to Speak in Panama
  157. Finding the Unknown Primary in Head & Neck Cancer
  158. A Meta-Analysis of Topical Amphotericin B for the Treatment of Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  159. Cytokine Profile Comparison Between Inflamed Sinus Mucosa and Sinonasal Polyps from Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  160. The Distribution of Normal Saline Delivered by Large-Particle Nasal Nebulizer versus Large-Volume/Low-Pressure Squeeze Bottle
  161. Averting the "Limping Larynx" with a Multidisciplinary Approach
  162. Repair of Nasal Obstruction with Functional Septorhinoplasty
  163. Definitive Endoscopic Resection of Inverted Papilloma
  164. Facial Reanimation and Facelift for Facial Paralysis
  165. Mometasone Furoate Gel: A Novel In-Office Treatment of Recalcitrant Postoperative Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  166. Rhinologic Applications of Radiofrequency Coblation
  167. Rhinoplasty for Nasal Obstruction
  168. Producing Quality Outcomes in Thyroid Surgery
  169. Functional Rhinoplasty: Repairing Nasal Valve Obstruction
  170. A Cancer Patient Regains His Voice
  171. Soham Roy, M.D., Named Director of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
  172. From Bench to Bedside with New Treatments for Chronic Sinus Disease
  173. Comprehensive Rhinology Program Offers State-of-the-Art Care for Patients with Chronic Rhinosinusitis Refractory to Standard Treatments
  174. Rhinology Update: Advanced Rhinology Concepts CME Scheduled for November
  175. The Comprehensive Voice Program: From Advanced Office-Based Procedures to Community Outreach
  176. Designing the Future: ORL’s New Office Space Features High-Tech Tools
  177. Welcome!

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