• Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology)
  • Hearing Center

    The Hearing Center at Texas Children’s Hospital provides numerous therapeutic and surgical services for children from newborn to age 18 with hearing problems. The center offers evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for the entire spectrum of conditions related to hearing in newborns, infants and children including:

    • Minimal to profound hearing loss
    • Chronic ear disease
    • Congenital ear malformations
    • Malformations and tumors of the ear and temporal bone

    Due to the complex nature of hearing loss in children, Hearing Center services are provided by a team of pediatric specialists with expertise in a wide range of auditory, diagnostic and therapeutic areas. Those involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients may include surgeons, audiologists and psychologists as well as speech, language and learning specialists.

    Surgeries most frequently performed by Hearing Center surgeons include:

    • Procedures to treat chronic ear disease
    • Procedures to restore conductive hearing loss
    • Cochlear implantation
    • Tumors of the cranial base

    Conditions treated:

    • Congenital aural atresia
    • Ear canal exostoses or stenosis
    • Tympanic membrane perforation
    • Cholesteatoma and chronic otitis media
    • Ossicular discontinuity
    • Conductive hearing loss not secondary to middle ear effusion
    • Complications of otitis media (coalescent mastoiditis, intracranial abscess, temporal lobe encephalocele, etc.)
    • Sensorineural hearing loss (mild, moderate, severe or profound)
    • Skull base tumors (paraganglioma, chordoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, endolymphatic sac tumors, etc.)
    • Acoustic neuroma, including patients with neurofibromatosis
    • Temporal bone trauma
    • Facial nerve palsy

    After treatment, Hearing Center specialists continue to work closely with a child's family, teachers, school nurse and speech therapist to monitor progress.

    PhysiciansRonald Vilela, MD (cochlear implantation)
    Jeff Vrabec, MD (cochlear implantation)
    Robert Williamson, MD (cochlear implantation) 
    AudiologistsCherecce Andrews, AuD, CCC-A
    Peggy Blum, AuD, CCC-A
    Charlotte Tenbrink, MS, CCC-A
    Carolyn Cleary, AuD, CCC-A
    Jennifer Dupre, AuD, CCC-A
    Claudia V. Emery, AuD, CCC-A
    Laura Howe, AuD, CCC-A
    Whitney Hurley, AuD, CCC-A
    Barbara Novak, PhD, CCC-A
    Nancy Schwartz, AuD, CCC-A
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