Ear, Nose & Throat specialist Dr. Tyler DeBlieux joins St. Joseph's/Candler Physician Network to treat otolaryngology issues
Tyler DeBlieux, MD
St. Joseph’s/Candler Physician Network – ENT
5356 Reynolds Street, Ste. 505
Savannah, Ga. 31405
Medical Degree: Louisiana State University School of Medicine – New Orleans
Residency: VCU Health System
SJ/C: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
Initially, I thought I wanted to do engineering or business, but after doing some groundhog day shadowing back in high school, I found working in a cubicle wasn’t for me. I liked meeting people and talking to people. My sister has a heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, so it always hit home from my family’s perspective of being in healthcare in terms of a patient. With her heart condition healthcare was in the back of my mind. With not wanting to be in a cubicle and my family’s history, I got the idea that I wanted to go to medical school. I enjoy helping people, and I like to be part of the community and helping people out.
SJ/C: What made you decide to specialize in ENT/otolaryngology?
When I got into medical school I thought I wanted to do pediatric cardiology, again because of my sister’s heart condition. My very first rotation in my third year of medical school was OB/GYN. Surprisingly, we got to get into the operating room when I was on that rotation, and I just loved the operating room. I loved everything about it and all the surgical aspects of being there. My wife, who is a speech pathologist, said I should check out ENT. I said, ‘Maybe,’ because then at that point I was thinking I wanted to do cardiothoracic surgery. My first rotation of my surgery elective was an ENT rotation, and I just loved it. The head and neck is such a small area, and there is a lot of complexity and diversity in surgeries that we can do. I like to think about it as we basically treat everything in the head and neck that’s not eyes and brain. I can not only offer surgical options for patients but also I do a lot of medical management too. Not every patient do I see do I say, ‘Do you need surgery or not,’ and send them to someone else if not. It’s what’s going on with you, and how can I help – whether it’s medications or if it is surgery, I can be the guy to offer that to you. For such a small area, it’s very complex and there are lots of things we can offer patients that is not just surgery.
SJ/C: What are some of your special interests?
Once you get into the specialty itself, with it being the variety it is, you start to learn you can find a niche or something that you really enjoy. I enjoy a little bit of everything, which is why I do general ENT. I do everything from thyroid stuff to the parotid glands. I also like sleep surgery, which is something I think is unique for us. I think it’s a blooming field, meaning we used to do a lot of sleep surgery but there are a lot of new technologies we can offer to patients and that’s something I can do. I really enjoy the nerve stimulators and upper airway stimulation, which I think is interesting. Once I did the training, that’s what I gravitated towards.
SJ/C: So how does technology help you help patients get better quicker?
In the operating room, technology-wise, there’s always new advances, whether it’s new surgical tools that get used or new devices that get developed, like with the upper airway stimulation device that can basically help cure your sleep apnea without having to wear a mask or not having to go through the quite painful surgeries that we are doing less often these days. Technology that way can help patients heal faster. In regards to other technology, patients have better access to their own healthcare records and more continuity through all the providers. It’s nice.
SJ/C: Have you had a moment where you thought, ‘This is why I became a doctor?’
Seeing patients for the first time and being on my own, that is self-fulfilling. During residency, we had patients that we treated for head and neck cancer and did surgery and treated them and the thanks you get and appreciation and gratitude, even if you played a small part, is very satisfying. It tells you why you became a doctor, even with all the red tape, documentation we have to do now. It’s always nice when you have helped a patient and they come back and say, ‘It worked for me.’ That’s awesome. It’s the little things that add up over time that make it worthwhile doing.
Family: Wife and new born son
Hobbies/Interests: Avid college sports fan, especially LSU football in the fall and baseball in the spring, playing with two dogs, going out with family