Home Facial Treatments A look at how Dr. Scott Kay, founder of Princeton Otolaryngology Associates, spends his day

A look at how Dr. Scott Kay, founder of Princeton Otolaryngology Associates, spends his day



Dr. Scott Kay, founder of Princeton Otolaryngology Associates, performs a procedure on a patient.

On a recent morning, Dr. Scott Kay rose early and headed to the operating room of the Surgical Specialists of Princeton to perform a septorhinoplasty — a surgical procedure to straighten a septal deviation to improve breathing and correct a cosmetic deformity that improves the patient’s appearance.

Next, he treated a patient who had suffered a chronic fungal infection and needed sinus surgery to drain an abscess that was causing severe headaches and other problems. Surgical Specialists of Princeton is Dr. Kay’s ambulatory surgical center.

With two surgeries successfully completed, the veteran otolaryngologist headed back to his Plainsboro practice to perform a ClariFix, a minimally invasive procedure that uses a balloon-like instrument to freeze an inflamed area in the back of the nose. This inflammation often causes chronic running noses in patients.

Dr. Scott Kay found the structure and complexity of the face, ears, nose and throat fascinating, which led him to specialize in otolaryngology, commonly known as ENT or ears, nose and throat doctors.

With still more to do, Dr. Kay then performed a biopsy on a tumor located in the patient’s nasopharynx — the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity area.

“That was a pretty typical day,’’ said Dr. Kay, who founded Princeton Otolaryngology Associates nearly 30 years ago. The practice offers board-certified physicians who are authorities in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders affecting the ear, nose, throat and head and neck area.

From vocal cord analysis and hearing aid fitting to plastic surgery and snoring procedures, Princeton Otolaryngology provides comprehensive, compassion care to patients. The practice recently opened a second location in Monroe Township.

Originally from Philadelphia, Dr. Kay found the structure and complexity of the face, ears, nose and throat fascinating, which led him to specialize in otolaryngology, commonly known as ENT or ears, nose and throat doctors.

“When I was in college, I was interested in plastic surgery and facial characteristics,’’ explained Dr. Kay, who attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “During my residency, when I did a rotation in ENT, I realized I could do all of that in this specialty. I could do plastic surgery and be an expert in a particular area of the body where the anatomy is so complex.’’

Training for the specialty is rigorous. In addition to four years of medical school, Dr. Kay also completed six years of residences in several hospitals, including Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, followed by a fellowship at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Shadyside Hospital. It was during his residency at Columbia Presbyterian in the 1990s that Dr. Kay became involved in the pioneering use of Botox to reduce facial wrinkles, which found its roots in otolaryngology.

“We were originally using Botox to treat vocal cord spasms,’’ Dr. Kay said. “Then we had a patient with facial paralysis on one side. We started experimenting to see if we could freeze the other side of the face to achieve symmetry.’’

This, and other research, eventually led to the common use of botulinum toxin to help people look better.

Dr. Kay, who consistently ranks among the areas’ top doctors, also provides other in-office procedures to improve patient’s appearance, including chemical peels and fillers.

Another of Dr. Kay’s many specialties is performing rhinoplasty — commonly known as a nose job.

Using a three-dimensional camera, Dr. Kay can show his patients how they would look when he changes the shape of their nose. He prides himself on perfectly performing the surgery to maximize a patient’s satisfaction with their new appearance, while minimizing recovery time.

“We can change somebody’s appearance and it can be so subtle that no one knows why it is altered, but it’s a dramatic difference,’’ Dr. Kay explained. “We can also repair structural issues.’’

Dr. Kay employs three audiologists, two of whom are doctors of audiology, to serve the many patients who come to him with hearing loss and other issues related to the ears.

“In addition to hearing loss, we frequently treat vertigo or dizziness, tinnitus or ringing in the ear and other ear-related issues,’’ he said.

A skilled surgeon, Dr. Kay performs a host of operative procedures, everything from tumor and cyst removal in the head and neck areas to facial cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Kay is the chief of the Section of Otolaryngology at Penn Medicine Princeton Healthcare where he performs his major head and neck surgeries. Princeton Otolaryngology Associates is an affiliate member of the Penn Medicine Ear Nose and Throat Network. An adjunct professor at Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine where he instructs residents of The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Dr. Kay also believes in giving back. He has received accolades for his participation in the Face-to-Face program in which he has provided pro bono care to victims of abuse.

Dr. Scott Kay and his team at Princeton Otolaryngology Associates.

During his 28 years of practice, Dr. Kay has witnessed — and been part of — stunning advancements in the practice of otolaryngology, especially related to surgical procedures.

The growing use of computer-assisted intraoperative navigation has rendered previously risky surgical procedures much safer and more predictable, translating into better outcomes for patients with a variety of ailments and illnesses. Using a CAT scan, this technology accurately guides surgeons in ways that were not previously possible.

“This has made operations so much safer,’’ he explained. “This allows you to know exactly where you are in somebody’s head, providing an incredible degree of precision.’’

Nerve monitoring is another major advancement. This technology sets off an alarm if a surgeon comes too close to a facial nerve, which, if inadvertently impacted, can cause facial paralysis.

“This all adds up to safer, better surgery with a better resolution of problems, compared to where we were 25 to 30 years ago,’’ Dr. Kay said. “We’ve definitely made significant advances to improve people’s quality of life.’’

In addition to providing the most state-of-the-art care, Dr. Kay and his team pride themselves on caring about their patients — and treating each one as an individual.

“I would not consider our office to be an office where we’re just trying to get a high number of patients through,’’ Dr. Kay said. “We’re an office that focuses on the individual patient. We spend quite a bit of time with each patient. That is why we have earned a very good reputation.

“We’re all about keeping that reputation and making sure that people leave our office satisfied,’’ he added. “In fact, we often see patients who come to us to fix problems after bouncing around without resolution. That is very gratifying for both myself and my team.’’

Learn more at www.drscottkay.com or call 609-445-4445.

— Nancy Parello


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