Story by Jason Stromberg • Photo by Abner Pedraza
Dr. Ellis Webster of Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of South Florida goes the extra mile to make sure that each patient has the best possible outcome.
Webster practices with Dr. Deborah Loney at the ENTSF office on the campus of Palms West Hospital. They treat patients who have hearing loss problems, dizziness, balance disorders, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), sinus and throat infections, and head and neck cancers.
“On a daily basis, I handle patients with these conditions,” Webster said. “The most common thing would be acute, or chronic, sinusitis. Most of the patients I see have that. Sinusitis is when a patient has an infection in their sinuses, which can present with nasal congestion, pain or drainage. They could also have headaches.”
Webster looks into the nose to determine if there are anatomic deformities, polyps or mucus, and often treats patients with antibiotics and/or steroids or decongestants. “After treating a patient, I would have them return to our office in four to six weeks. If I see that they still have symptoms, I would order a CT scan. If the scan shows that they have chronic infection, or polyps, I would perform sinus surgery.”
Webster earned his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine in 1991. He completed his residency at the University of Iowa. He is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.
Practicing in South Florida since 1996, Webster joined the ENTSF team in 2006. The firm has been caring for patients since 1963. Currently, there are 42 physicians across 30 offices in South Florida.
Webster was enthusiastic to join the ENTSF team. It was a relief to be part of a large, established group that could deal with the business aspects of the practice and negotiate with insurance companies.
“Giving up the autonomy of having my own practice was difficult at first, but I was encouraged by the benefit of more collaboration and less competition,” he explained.
It has allowed Webster the ability to spend more time with his patients. “I am able to maintain my own care center without having to worry about the business side of things,” he said. “Now, I can devote all of my time to taking care of patients.”
Webster and Loney practice together in the Loxahatchee office. “His outlook is good, he’s knowledgeable and he’s helpful to everybody,” Loney said of Webster, whom she has known professionally for more than 20 years. “It’s a pleasure working with him. We have a similar approach to treating patients.”
Webster likes showing patients their CT scan because what is bothering them is right there on display. “In that way, patients become involved in the decision-making process,” he said. “I explain the benefits of the medical or surgical treatment and what I recommend.”
Webster relies on his many years of experience when working with his patients. “I also describe the risks of the treatment options and whether the chance of risk is low,” he said. “They want to know that you have done this before. I’m very careful. I’ll treat them like a member of my family. That’s the calming influence.”
Patients who walk into his office may have difficulty swallowing, persistent throat pain, a lump in the neck that doesn’t go away or may be suffering from hoarseness. Those could be signs of cancer. These patients may be suffering from mouth cancer, tongue cancer, laryngeal cancer, thyroid cancer or cancer of the salivary glands.
“I treat all of that,” Webster said. “I certainly get a history, including exposure to risk factors, and I examine each patient. I want to make sure that they don’t have cancer. If I see something suspicious, I set them up for a biopsy. If there’s confirmation that they have cancer, I set them up for surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, or all three. We make sure we take the appropriate steps to helping each patient live a healthier life.”
Webster practices out of the Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of South Florida office located at 12959 Palms West Drive, Suite 220, on the campus of Palms West Hospital. To make an appointment, call (561) 793-5077. For more info., visit www.entsf.com.