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About us

Pediatric otolaryngology, often referred to as pediatric ENT (ear, nose and throat), is the medical specialty concerned with diseases and disorders of the ears, nose, throat, head and neck, which are among some of the most common conditions affecting children. Pediatric otolaryngologists, or pediatric ENT specialists, are trained as medical doctors and as surgeons. The critical craniofacial areas treated by ENT specialists include the sinuses, larynx (voice box), esophagus, oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat) and related structures of the head and neck. Pediatric ENT specialists also manage and treat developmental disorders and birth defects of the head and neck.

The dedicated team of pediatric otolaryngologists at Cohen Children’s diagnoses and treats a wide range of disorders, from routine nose bleeds, sinusitis, tonsil and ear infections, inner ear problems and dizziness, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea to more complex conditions such as congenital hearing loss, complex neck masses, larynx, voice and airway issues as well as craniofacial surgeries of the head and face.

Our pediatric otolaryngology staff understands the physical and emotional needs of children, which are very different from those of adult patients. We provide compassionate care for all our young patients and work closely with your child’s referring physician. We encourage open communication and active participation of parents in all aspects of treatment. It is our goal to create a supportive, family-friendly healing environment for your child.

The Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Cohen Children’s, which operates in association with the New York Head and Neck Institute’s Center for Pediatric Otolaryngology, offers comprehensive medical and surgical treatment for children with conditions related to the ear, nose, throat, or head and neck. Patients are seen at our state-of-the-art clinical suites at the Hearing and Speech Center on the campus of Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The pediatric ENT facility includes specialists from otolaryngology, audiology, speech and language pathology.

What we treat

Though many ENT disorders are among the most common diseases affecting children (sore throat, sinusitis and ear infections to name a few), the physiological intricacies of the craniofacial areas encompassing the ears, nose, throat, head and neck are incredibly complex and require the attention of a highly trained specialist. The award-winning team of pediatric ENTs at Cohen Children’s has the knowledge and expertise required for the best possible outcome. The disorders treated by our pediatric otolaryngologists include:

  • Adenoid and tonsil problems
  • Congenital and acquired airway abnormalities
  • Congenital and acquired hearing loss
  • Congenital cysts of the head and neck
  • Ear abnormalities
  • Ear infections
  • Hemangioma and vascular malformations
  • Masses of the head and neck
  • Obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorder
  • Voice disorders in children


The Apelian Cochlear Implant Center at Cohen Children’s provides full diagnostic, counseling and rehabilitation services to children with mild to profound hearing loss. Our services include:

  • Audiology
  • Newborn hearing screenings
  • Pediatric evaluations
  • Auditory processing evaluations
  • Adult evaluations
  • Hearing aid dispensary
  • Adult aural rehabilitation
  • Pediatric aural rehabilitation
  • Parent support group
  • Cochlear implants
  • Early intervention services
  • Speech pathology services
  • Diagnostic evaluations
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Swallowing evaluations and therapy
  • Voice evaluations and therapy
  • Laryngectomy support group

About cochlear implants
Surgeons, audiologists, speech pathologists, educators, social workers and consultants all meet to discuss each child's specific needs and formulate recommendations for implantation and postoperative support. Since a support system is critical to a successful implant, parents and teachers are considered to be part of our team and are involved throughout the entire process. A support group for parents of hearing impaired children meets monthly.

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device designed to bypass damaged sensory cells in the inner ear (cochlea) and provide sound to profoundly deaf individuals who are unable to benefit from hearing aid use. A wire containing an array of electrodes is inserted into the cochlea. An externally worn transmitter sends coded sound information to the electrodes, which, in turn, stimulate the auditory (hearing) nerve, bypassing the damaged cells.

Using the cochlear implant, profoundly deaf individuals are able to hear and understand speech. Most children are able to hear conversation without lip reading and use spoken language for everyday communication. Profoundly hearing impaired children as young as 12 months of age are eligible for implantation surgery if audiological and medical criteria for implantation are met.

Our physicians

Lee Phillip Smith, MD

Chief of Division of Otolaryngology and Communicative Disorders - Pediatric Otolaryngology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

Specialties: Pediatric Otolaryngology, Otolaryngology

Gerald Daniel Zahtz, MD

Director - Quality-Otolaryngology/Head&Neck Surg

Specialties: Otolaryngology, Pediatric Otolaryngology

Neha Ashwin Patel, MD

Specialties: Pediatric Otolaryngology, Otolaryngology
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