By: Marisa Oberle, Fox 17
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan doctor hopes a first-of-its-kind device that treats ear infections saves families time, money, and stress.
“The goal really is for all of us to see what we can do to reduce operating room cases when we can, let’s see what we can do to do more stuff in the office when it’s safe and appropriate,” said Dr. Joseph Taylor, an ENT at Grand Rapids Ear, Nose, & Throat.
Taylor is the first ENT in West Michigan to use the Preceptis Hummingbird device.
The Hummingbird device allows doctors to put ear tubes in from their office in five minutes. The FDA approved the procedure in 2020. The ideal candidates are children ages 6-to-24 months old.
Traditionally, ear tube procedures occur in an operating room and require general anesthesia. It can cost up to $5,000.
“It’s the exact same process, exact same results, exact same benefits, just not the exact same way to do it,” said Taylor.
Lauren and Matt Van Ryn, who live in Byron Center, say The Hummingbird device brought a sense of normalcy to their family.
In three months, their daughter suffered four ear infections.
“We haven’t had to go to the doctors, we haven’t had to deal with fevers or fussiness,” said Lauren. “She always was spiking a fever, she was on pretty heavy antibiotics every couple of weeks, and she was getting sick from the antibiotics because her stomach just wasn’t tolerating them.”
The couple opted for The Hummingbird device because they wanted to avoid putting their daughter under general anesthesia. It also worked better with their work schedules.
They say if their other daughter has issues with ear infections in the future, they would choose The Hummingbird device in a heartbeat.
“We’re not on pins and needles waiting for the next one,” said Matt. “We feel at ease that she’s healthy.”