illustration of the operation of microlaryngoscopy under general anaethetic
Ear Nose and Throat ENT Surgical Operations

This page last updated 14 January 2016

For information about specific operations and treatments visit our medical information page.


Surgical operations – What we do and where

We operate on adult patients at the Chaucer Hospital, Canterbury and KIMS Hospital, Maidstone including

  • Complex middle ear surgery for cholesteatoma and perforated eardrum
  • Combined approach laser mastoidectomy and tympanoplasty
  • Causse laser stapedotomy with vein graft and teflon loop piston ossiculoplasty for deafness due to otosclerosis
  • BAHA osseointegrated titanium auditory implants
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Septoplasty
  • Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)
  • Balloon Sinuplasty
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Microlaryngoscopy and biopsies

Operations for children – from 3 years and older – are carried out at the Spencer Private Hospital Wing, William Harvey Hospital, Ashford. including

  • Tonsils
  • Adenoids
  • Grommets
  • Laser turbinates
  • Sinus washouts
  • Mastoid surgery
  • Myringoplasty (repair of perforated ear drum)
  • Pinnaplasty / Otoplasty (correction of prominent ears)

Informed consent

A recommendation to undergo a surgical operation is only arrived at after a careful history, examination, and consideration of all the treatment options. This includes full discussion of the aims, risks and benefits, and a best estimate of the likely outcome in your particular case. Remember that

  • Effective medical treatments are available for many ENT conditions
  • Surgery does not always deliver the desired outcome
  • General statistics regarding outcomes may not appy in your particular case
  • Only a small minority of patients referred to us receive a surgical operation

Even when patients are referred by medical colleagues with a view to carrying out a particular operation, the same process of careful history, examination, consideration of all treatment options, and full discussion of aims, risks and benefits applies. This follows on naturally from our guiding principle, which is to treat patients as we would like members of our own family to be treated.

Clinical excellence means more than just getting the diagnosis right and being up to date with the latest treatment guidelines. It means finding out what you hope for and expect from treatment, dovetailing our clinical expertise with your values and preferences. Having explained treatment options in terms we hope you can understand, we check you have understood.

Our policy is complete openness and honesty. We give copies of our GP letters to patients and parents as a matter of course.

We do not want snap decisions, we prefer you to have the chance to consider things carefully, with the written report at home. On the other hand, we do not expect you to shoulder the burden of treatment choices alone, we are there to help. If the best choice of treatment is clear, we will tell you so.

Further reading: GMC Consent Guidelines, June 2008

Ethics of the surgeon – limits of competence

As a surgeon, there are ethical considerations regarding which operations I am prepared to carry out, and under what circumstances. There are

  • limits to what I can do
  • limits to what our hospitals can do

To know these limits, I have a very simple test. I just ask myself whether I would be happy to be doing this operation, in this hospital, on a member of my own family.

I know my own strengths and limitations. I don’t hesitate to discuss difficult problems with colleagues, and refer on when necessary. Though lucky enough to have “a good pair of hands” I always strive to improve my surgical skills. In theatre, I am a meticulous operator, though not one of the quickest.

My experience and current practice in sub-specialised areas of ENT


I have carried out over 1,000 major middle ear operations including tympanoplasty, mastoidectomy (both canal wall up and canal wall down techniques, including cholesteatoma surgery in children) labyrinthectomy, saccus decompression and stapes surgery. I use the Causse LASER stapedotomy technique and my audited results are on a par with the best published internationally. Since 1995 I have carried out over 100 Bone Anchored Hearing Aid implants.

Nasal and Sinus surgery

Besides several thousand routine nasal procedures, I have carried out successful lateral rhinotomy, fronto-ethmoidectomy, transantral ligation of the maxillary artery, and radical frontal sinus obliteration with osteoplastic flap. I have twenty years experience using the techniques of functional endoscopic sinus surgery and have carried out around two thousand such procedures with only one CSF leak which was recognised and repaired at the time. I have had no cases of blindness as a complication of FESS

Head and Neck Surgery

Although fully trained in this area, I made a decision on being appointed a consultant in 1993 to refer patients requiring major head & neck cancer surgery (laryngectomy, pharyngectomy, commando and radical neck dissection) to my colleagues, who now form mulitdisciplinary teams. I still carry out a great deal of diagnostic work (laryngoscopy, pharyngo-oesophagoscopy, biopsies, fine needle aspirations) and have also continued to perform parotidectomy, submandibular gland, branchial cyst and thyroglossal cyst excisions, and radical sinus surgery.

Facial Plastic Surgery

I am experienced in both internal and external rhinoplasty techniques, functional and cosmetic. I regularly carry out pinnaplasty and attain good results.


I am skilled with both rigid and fibreoptic instruments. I use both macroscopic and microscopic techniques in laryngoscopy, including vocal cord augmentation injections. I regularly use the rigid Storz-Hopkins rod system for functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Although fully trained in paediatric bronchoscopy including emergency work, such cases are relatively rare in our catchment population and we now tend to refer to tertiary centres in London.

Laser surgery

I have used the carbon dioxide laser since 1986 and the KTP laser since 1995, and am familiar with both micromanipulator and hand-held fibreoptic delivery devices. I am an accredited LASER user

Our Hospitals and Private Clinics in Kent

Updated 15 October 2020

One Ashford Hospital – Opened March 2016

Artist's Impression of new One Hospital Ashford Kent

One Ashford Hospital, Ashford, Kent – Opened March 2016

Kennington Road, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0YS
ENT Services
Out Patient Clinic appointments for adults and children (paediatric service opened March 2017)
Audiology (hearing tests)
ENT Out Patient procedures and treatments
Surgical Operations for adults and children (day case, general anaesthetic)
Clinic times
Wednesdays – morning and afternoon appointments
See weekly timetable
Sylvia Fairley and Alison Bampton
Tel 01233 642244
71 Mill Court, Ashford, Kent TN24 8DN
link to The Chaucer Hospital, Canterbury Kent CT4 7AR

The Chaucer Hospital, Canterbury Kent

Nackington Road, Canterbury, Kent CT4 7AR
ENT Services
Out Patient Clinic appointments for adults (18 plus) Note since July 2014 Children can no longer be seen at the Chaucer Hospital Canterbury. Since July 2016, their definition of Children includes 16 and 17 year olds. Only patients aged 18 and over can be seen at the Chaucer Hospital.
Audiology (hearing tests)
ENT Out Patient procedures and treatments
Surgical Operations for adults (18 plus)
Clinic times
Monday afternoons
See weekly timetable
Operating theatre times
Monday mornings
Sylvia Fairley and Alison Bampton
Tel 01233 642244
71 Mill Court, Ashford, Kent TN24 8DN

Referral letter from your General Practitioner

We normally expect a letter of referral from your GP, but this is not essential, particularly if you are self-funding. If you want to use your Private Medical Insurance policy, do check the Terms and Conditions – most say you have to be referred by your GP. We do not need to receive the referral letter before booking your appointment, we can book your appointment in advance.

email referrals

We accept secure email referrals to
All email communications between ourselves and email addresses are automatically secured by enforced Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption, for both incoming and outgoing messages. TLS is also enforced on emails to and from ourselves and all private hospitals and clinics where we see patients. However, we cannot be sure that TLS will be applied to every email server used by our patients, therefore we ask our patients to sign an email consent form if they wish to allow us to their communicate confidential medical information electronically, potentially without encryption if their own email server does not use TLS.

For information about specific operations and treatments visit our medical information page.