A-Z of Terms


Dysphagia basically means difficulty swallowing, and can be attributed to any action that swallowing requires. Chewing, muscle relaxation or even a weak tongue can be the cause, generally bought on by other medical problems such as a stroke or damage to the nervous system.

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

This surgery is used to treat diseases within the nose and sinuses. A very small camera is used to look at the sinuses and determine where they narrow or are damaged so that they can then be treated by opening up the sinuses to drain them properly. A CT scan is used to define the anatomy and extent of disease before surgery is contemplated.


This is when a small camera is inserted into the nose to check the shape and how the nose and palate are interacting.

Peadiatric Tonsillectomy

Often when children experience problems with snoring or with sleep apnoea there is a problem with the size of their tonsils and a paediatric tonsillectomy will be performed to remove them. This is a simple procedure carried out under a general anaesthetic with a high success rate.

Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

For around 20% of your sleep, your body will enter REM. This is a state of sleep whereby your eyes almost vibrate and you enter very deep sleep and dreams occur. The function of REM is not completely known, however it appears to be very important to healthy sleep.


This is a minor surgical procedure whereby small amounts of soft tissues are removed from your throat and mouth to enhance your ability to sleep throughout the night. The exact amounts of tissue removed or reshaped depends upon the individual.

Vocal Cord Pathology

The vocal cords can be damaged through injury or through disease, such as cancers, ulcers or paralysis. This can result in a hoarse or grainy voice, or a loss of speech entirely.