New ENT physician practicing at HCMH

Dr. Tracey Wellendorf (left) and his assistant, RN Jen Brosh (right) will be at the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital on the third Wednesday of the month. The ENT specialist is holding a TNE, a small fiber optic tube that goes through the nose and allows the doctor to look inside the throat. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

As his website says, Dr. Tracey Wellendorf has been attending to ear, nose and throat problems of citizens in western Iowa for more than 20 years, and is now bringing his specialty to Humboldt.
Dr. Wellendorf is headquartered at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll, but is a traveling man, with nine satellite clinics covering a large portion of western, west central and southwest Iowa. He has clinics at Buena Vista Regional Hospital and Stewart Memorial Hospital in Lake City in the UnityPoint affiliate network.
Dr. Wellendorf was born and raised in Audubon. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Creighton University in Omaha with a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry. He received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He completed his internship in general surgery and residency in Otolaryngology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC.
He practiced one year with in Council Bluffs, and then started his own practice in Carroll in 1996.
He says creating the best patient experience has always been his primary goal.
He enjoys traveling to different communities to provide ENT treatment and procedures that people in some of the smaller communities would not have access to in the rural area.
He will be in the newly constructed specialty physicians clinic at HCMH on the third Wednesday of the month.
“It is beautiful, well lit and very attractive,” Dr. Wellendorf said of the newly constructed space.
People may schedule an appointment to be seen in Humboldt on the third Wednesday by calling his office in Carroll, toll free at 1-888-339-4368.
He wants prospective patients to know that he does a wide variety of ENT procedures. He utilizes balloon sinuplasties when permitting, as well as coblation tonsillectomies. The procedures reduce operating times, reduce patient pain, increase healing, and provide improved patient outcomes, Dr. Wellendorf believes.
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) are another relatively new and successful product. The surgically implanted device allows the aids to transmit sound through bone vibrations in the skull.
“We used an adaptive BAHA for a boy who was born without ear canals. We were able to set it up remotely and we were so excited to see him hear sounds for the first time.
“We’ve probably done 100-plus of the BAHA implants in the last 10 years,” Dr. Wellendorf said.
A Board Certified Otolaryngologist for head and neck surgery, Wellendorf says he loves doing reconstructive surgeries.
As mentioned, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are fairly common surgical remedies for chronic throat infections among children.
He sees patients for tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, voice deviation, sleep apnea and skin lesions of the head and neck.
He answered the age-old question can you fix a broken nose?
The answer is yes! Normally it’s recommended to wait 5-7 days for the swelling to go down. The ENT doctor can do an examination and determine if surgery is necessary. Closed reduction surgery, which is a manual realignment, is one option. There are also internal procedures available to repair the nasal airway.
In addition to the balloon sinuplasty, which is very effective for patients with chronic sinus problems and children with chronic runny or drippy noses, Dr. Wellendorf performs septoplasty surgery, to correct deformity of the partition between the sides of the nose.
Inferior turbinate surgery is a more advanced procedure reducting the volume of the turbinate but not reducing the working surface area to relieve chronic nasal congestion.
Edoscopic sinus surgery is recommended in some cases if other medical management has been unsuccessful.
“We want to utilize the operating room and facilities here (at HCMH) as much as possible. Some procedures may need to be done at my office in Carroll,” the ENT specialist said.
Registered Nurse Jen Brosh is certified in otolaryngology. Jen as well as two other nurses and a receptionist travel with Dr. Wellendorf to his satellite clinics.
“The nice thing about being an ENT is that it’s a pretty intellectual practice. You get to do a ton of medical work,” Dr. Wellendorf said.
“I’ve treated patients with autoimmune diseases like Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome and Superior Canal Dehiscence, an abnormal opening in the ear canal that can cause dizziness and hearing loss.”
Dr. Wellendorf has also treated patients with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and patients with head and neck cancers. He recommends CT scans and brings in neurologists and other specialized care treatment providers and procedures as necessary.
Wellendorf said his patient caseload is about 30 percent pediatric, 30 percent geriatric and the other 40 percent adults of various ages.
Tracey Wellendorf and his wife Jodi live in Lake View. The couple has two adult children. Kiley is a graduate of Buena Vista University and is a journalist, working as an education reporter at the Ames Tribune. Their son, Ben, is a student at the University of Iowa, and plans a career in business.
A big passion outside of his practice is motor car racing. Dr. Wellendorf is a member of the Sports Car Club of America and has had an entry in a number of World Championship Road Races. He has a Ford Mustang Boss 302 that has been completely restored and has been featured at the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, NE.
Dr. Wellendorf looks forward to meeting new patients in the greater Humboldt area to provide help for their ENT medical needs.

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