Glossary of common ENT terminology used to explain swallowing and vocal disorders and treatments.

  • Amyloidosis – Disorder in which the body deposits a certain type of protein in a variety of tissues. The deposits may cause the growth of benign masses. The cause of this disorder is unknown.
  • Aspiration – Food or liquid passing into the windpipe.
  • Atrophy – Loss of volume due to lack of use or loss of nerve supply, as in a paralyzed muscle.
  • Barium – Chalky material used when performing certain types of X-ray tests. This material shows up on X-rays and can be used to
  • demonstrate abnormalities of certain internal organs.
  • Barrett’s Esophagus – Precancerous condition of the esophagus which is a result of uncontrolled acid reflux disease. Patients with Barrett’s changes in the esophagus should be followed regularly to screen for cancer.
  • Botulinum Toxin (Botox) – Drug made from the bacterium known as Clostridia Botulinum. This is actually a toxin produced by this
  • bacterium which causes muscle paralysis. Used in a diluted dose, this toxin can be useful for certain disorders.
  • CO 2 Laser – A type of laser commonly used in surgery. This particular type of laser cuts very superficially and causes little damage to surrounding tissues if used properly.
  • CT scan – Also known as a CAT scan, this imaging technique utilizes x-rays to provide detailed images of internal structures.
    Dysphagia – Difficulty swallowing.
  • EndoCdx Brush Biopsy – Technique of biopsy involving a brush that is passed through a flexible endoscope. This procedure is relatively painless, and can often get a good sample of tissue from a lesion.
  • Endoscope – A medical device used to examine internal structures. This device is usually based on fiberoptic technology.
    Endoscopic Cups Forceps Biopsy – Refers to a technique in which a biopsy is obtained by using a small forceps passed through a flexible endoscope. The sample obtained is usually excellent.
  • Endoscopy – Technique used to examine internal structures using an endoscope.
  • Esophageal Adenocarcinoma – A type of cancer affecting the esophagus. Currently, this is the fastest growing (by numbers) cancer in the United States. It is very lethal. Screening for esophageal cancer is essential to survival, since early detection can improve outcome. Screening may involve transnasal esophagoscopy.
  • Esophagoscopy – Term used to describe a procedure in which an endoscope is passed into the esophagus to visualize the lining.
    Esophagus – Muscular tube-like organ which connects the throat to the stomach.
  • Esophagitis – Condition in which the esophageal lining becomes inflamed. This is usually caused by reflux disease. Continued reflux can lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a precancerous condition.
  • Gastroenterology – Field of medicine specializing in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – This refers to a disorder in which acid from the stomach gets into the esophagus and causes damage.
  • Graft – Tissue or other material used during reconstruction to add structure or bulk, or to resurface an area.
    Human Papilloma Virus – A virus that is commonly found in humans. It is the cause of common warts. It comes in a variety of strains,