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UCLA Head and Neck Surgery


Pediatric Otolaryngology

Pediatric Otolaryngology


The UCLA Pediatric Otolaryngology Program provides medical and surgical management of children with ear, nose and throat disorders.

Dr. Shapiro discusses pediatric coblation tonsillectomies, an outpatient surgical procedure with a short
recovery time and significantly less post-operative pain than a conventional tonsillectomy. 

This video is also available in windows media at http://streaming.uclahealth.org/coblationtonsillectomy

Program Experience

Children from birth to age 21 years are treated by pediatric subspecialists in all aspects of their ear, nose and throat-related problems. Dr. Nina Shapiro is a pediatric otolaryngologist with a clinical and research practice devoted to ear, nose and throat disorders in children. As the first fellowship-trained pediatric otolaryngologist at UCLA, Dr. Shapiro has brought new, innovative techniques for the treatment of pediatric disorders to UCLA. Dr. Alisha West, also a fellowship-trained pediatric otolaryngologist, began practicing with our department in 2011. Surgeries are performed on children with all facets of ear, nose and throat disorders. These include endoscopic airway and sinus surgery, and laser procedures for the airway and head and neck.

Program Approach

The outpatient office is a 'child-friendly' environment, with ample space for parents and siblings to be present during examinations or discussions. Dr. Shapiro and Dr. West see thousands of children each year. The spectrum of disorders ranges from quite common to quite rare. Primary care pediatricians refer the majority of patients. Referrals from fellow otolaryngologists in the Los Angeles region, elsewhere in the United States, or internationally are also welcome. The comprehensive care from pediatric subspecialists at UCLA enables us to care for children with complex problems of the head and neck, as well multi-system disorders.

Audiologists and speech pathologists are trained in the care of children with speech and hearing disorders, and are sensitive to the individual needs of each child. The Audiology Department is located at the same outpatient facility. Dr. Shapiro and Dr. West work closely with pediatric audiology and speech colleagues on patients - from newborns to adolescents - with hearing or speech disorders.

The Ambulatory Surgery Center at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center, where many of the surgeries are performed, is a comfortable environment for children and families. Oftentimes, parents are invited to come to the operating room with their child until they are comfortably asleep for a procedure. Dr. Shapiro and Dr. West perform all pediatric ear, nose and throat procedures, with a special interest in otitis media, obstructive sleep disorders, chronic sinusitis, periorbital disease, airway disorders, pediatric voice disorders and head and neck masses.

Major and complex surgeries are performed at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where state-of-the-art equipment and technologies are readily available. These include endoscopic airway and sinus instruments, the newest in laser technology, microdebriders, and adjuvant intraoperative medical therapies.

Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA offers the highest level of pediatric care, including a neonatal intensive care unit, two pediatric intensive care units, and a pediatric cardiac care unit. Pediatric subspecialists including pediatric anesthesiologists, neonatologists, pulmonologists, and pediatric intensivists, have an active and crucial role in the care of children and newborns with ear, nose and throat disorders.

Referral Candidates

Patients with the following conditions are candidates for referral to the UCLA Pediatric Otolaryngology Program:Dr. Nina Shapiro, UCLA Head & Neck Surgery

  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Obstructive sleep problems due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • Recurrent sinus infections
  • Airway problems
  • Voice disorders
  • Congenital head and neck malformations
  • Head and neck tumors

Research Applications

Program research includes:

  • Tonsil and adenoid abnormalities in children following solid organ transplantation
  • Utilization of antiviral agents in treating severe disorders of the vocal cords and airway
  • Establishment of genes specific to hearing loss
  • Association between environmental change and otolaryngologic disease

Our Expert Team

Nina Shapiro, MD
Alisha West, MD


For information, referral and appointments, call: (310) 206-6688.


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