STAR VALLEY, Wyo. — Star Valley Health has expanded their specialty services this year by welcoming Dr. Brian Affleck. Dr. Affleck is a board-certified otolaryngologist (ENT). He and his team treat adults and children, providing surgical and non-surgical treatments for conditions related to the head and neck.
“I’ve seen lives change in my practice of medicine over the past 32 years. I’ve seen patients live more productive lives, have less pain, be cured from cancer, breathe, sleep and hear better,” Affleck said.
Experience treating patients in extreme conditions
For Dr. Affleck, ENT runs in the family. His father practiced otolaryngology in Idaho Falls for many decades.
“I was privileged to watch my father in his ENT practice in Idaho Falls. He was a beloved pillar of the community,” Affleck said.
Dr. Affleck’s career includes six years as an Air Force flight surgeon, serving as a primary care doctor for pilots and other personnel, and he has 1,000 hours of flight experience. Treating patients working in extreme conditions has provided great insight for his practice.
“Having personally experienced many of the physiologic changes of flight helps me understand a patient’s challenges, which leads to an expedited workup of tests and studies to guide a patient on the road to wellness,” said Affleck.
Treating a wide range of conditions
Dr. Affleck and his team treat a wide range of conditions, including sinus disorders, chronic ear infections, tongue-tie and thyroid conditions. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) also falls under the ENT suite of care, and patients at Star Valley Health can now be treated for OSA with an innovative medical device called Inspire.
“Inspire stimulates the nerve to the tongue so the tongue moves out of the way. It also opens the throat muscles and the area behind the palate, actively opening the airway and relieving obstruction,” explained Affleck.
The Inspire device is implanted in the upper chest and neck via an outpatient procedure. Inspire surgery is not for everyone. For example, patients who are pregnant or plan to be should not use Inspire therapy. Additionally, Inspire is only available for patients who are unable to use CPAP therapy, and FDA-approved for patients within a certain BMI range. Yet studies show that for many eligible patients, Inspire brings great results.
Benefits of facial reconstructive surgery
Patients can also experience significant results through facial reconstructive surgery. Procedures that would fall under the ENT purview include cleft lip, drooping eyelids or reconstruction after injuries or skin cancer. Star Valley Health is home to three surgery suites and seven post-op rooms. For any elective surgeries, the hospital recommends scheduling as early as possible to ensure an appointment before the end of the year.
Living an active and full life
Conditions in the ears, nose and throat can not only be life-threatening, but can deeply affect one’s ability to live an active and full life.
Combined with the hospital’s sleep lab and respiratory therapists, residents have ever-increasing access to specialty healthcare that is close to home. Dr. Affleck treats patients in Afton, Alpine and Bridger Valley. Learn more about Star Valley Health’s ENT services at StarValleyHealth.org.