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Assuta Ashdod gives a soldier his life back

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Five years ago, Steve Uchman met for the first time with Dr. Sharon Ovnat-Tamir, Head of the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Assuta Ashdod.

A young soldier with a burst eardrum, Steve had been suffering for years with chronic ear infections and recurrent episodes of fluids seeping out of his ears. These issues seriously affected his hearing and his overall quality of life.

Dr. Ovnat-Tamir conducted multiple tests and tried many treatments over a five-year period before recommending surgery as the best and only option to heal Steve’s eardrum.

Eliminating the perennial infection was the first step. Because he had developed multiple resistant bacteria, Dr. Ovnat-Tamir hospitalized Steve so he could receive IV antibiotics.

Once the infection disappeared, she operated on Steve and successfully closed his tympanic membrane.

Steve Uchman finally got his life back. Two months after the surgery, he publicly acknowledged how Dr. Ovnat-Tamir ended his years of suffering and frustration.

“It’s just two months following surgery, and my situation has improved dramatically thanks to Dr. Sharon Ovnat-Tamir and her magical staff in the ENT department. Thanks for your skill, your professionalism, your tenacity and for not giving up. Thank you for this long and uncompromising journey.”

Dr. Ovnat-Tamir joined Assuta Ashdod before it even opened in 2017.

“In fact, I saw the very first patient in the very first clinic at Assuta Ashdod!” Dr. Ovnat-Tamir says with pride. Before that time, she worked in Wolfson hospital and abroad. She completed her residency at Sha’arei Tzedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem. In addition to practicing medicine, she’s a researcher who has published over 60 papers in the field of Otology (the study of the anatomy and diseases of the ear) on the topics of ear infections, ear surgery and ear complications.

One of her most important contributions involved research regarding treatment protocol for Mastoiditis, a complication of Otitis Media (middle ear infection). Mastoiditis occurs when the infected fluid enters the mastoid bone causing it to break down. Before antibiotics, mastoiditis was one of the leading causes of death in children.

When Dr. Ovnat-Tamir was a young resident, toddlers with this condition were almost always sent for a CT scan as standard protocol. A CT scan requires sedation and unhealthy brain radiation. From her research and experience, Dr. Ovnat-Tamir discovered that this type of invasive testing was unnecessary for young children and best to avoid in most cases. She was quoted by the prestigious Laryngoscope Journal and her recommendations created a paradigm shift in ENT. Nowadays, except in special cases, most toddlers do not receive a CT scan.

“We don’t radiate young kids for nothing.” Dr. Ovnat-Tamir is modest about her many talents and accomplishments including her language skills. She speaks fluent Hebrew, English, French and German.

But what really stands out about Dr. Ovnat-Tamir is the passion she exudes for her profession. Steve Uchman expressed it exactly:

“I’ve heard that it’s not enough to just study medicine, a doctor must also be human and optimistic. That’s what makes Dr. Ovnat-Tamir such a great doctor!”


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