A “Rhinologist” is an Ear Nose and Throat doctor/surgeon (ENT) who spent additional time in training gaining expertise in the endoscopic treatment of the nose and sinuses. A typical training program for Ear Nose and Throat doctors/surgeons is 5 years after medical school (Residency). A rhinologist will then spend 1-2 years in additional training focusing on the treatment of the nose and sinuses (Fellowship).
This additional training results in a high comfort level treating the most complex sinus and nasal disease. This comfort results in a large patient population of VERY complex patients. These complex patients have disease processes that include: frontal sinus surgery, revision/redo frontal sinus surgery, revision/redo sinus surgery, polyp disease, revision/redo polyp disease, nasal tumors, “mucoceles”, brain/spinal fluid (CSF) leaks, etc.
We (Dr. Reh and I) have spent over a decade each treating thousands of patients with these problems. Many of them do not need surgery but need sub-specialized medical disease management. Although most patients who have nasal and sinus disease do not need the specialized care of a Rhinologist, there are a small percentage of patients who have challenging disease that fails to respond to conventional treatments. If this is the case, as with any disease, it is reasonable to seek the care of someone who specializes in these complex problems. For better or worse, if you have sinus/nasal problems and are a challenge to your ENT, you will be a routine patient in our practice!