Source :- frontiersman.com
Ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. Kevin Jensen, will be the first full-time medical provider at the Wasilla offices of Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists of Alaska. Dr. Jensen joined the Valley medical community on June 18 and will be treating patients at his clinic on Seward-Meridian Parkway and at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.
Jensen, or Dr. J as he prefers to be called, offers a broad spectrum of otolaryngology services, including endoscopic sinus surgery, thyroid surgery, and obstructive sleep apnea surgery. Thanks to his military background, he also has experience in endoscopic Eustachian tube balloon dilation, and is one of the first providers in Alaska to offer this procedure.
“We were able to take this new technology, which doesn’t have its own billing procedure code yet and use it to help our patients,” Jensen said. Many civilian physicians have not yet adopted this technique, he said, because it is too new to be covered by insurance plans.
The dilation can help those with Eustachian tube dysfunction, including people who have chronic ear infections or retracted ear drums, those with difficulty clearing their ears during altitude changes, and people who have had long-term use of ear tubes.
The procedure is done by pushing an endoscope through the nose into the opening of the Eustachian tube. An inflated balloon is used to fill space which dilates the Eustachian tube for two minutes before it is relaxed and released. Over time this procedure helps relieve symptoms of chronic ear problems such as fluid build-up.
Jensen believes that the FDA will approve the procedure soon so that it can be covered by insurance. For now he offers the service through self-pay.
Early on in his education, Jenson saw himself headed in the direction of Family Medicine. He liked the idea of treating all ages, from senior citizens and adults to children. It was while he was undertaking a rotation in Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) care in medical school that he realized how drawn he was to surgery, as well. Now he sees how the hands-on nature of being a surgeon is an ideal match for his personality.
“I really was drawn to being able to work with my hands and using techniques with my hands,” he said.
Jensen is currently one of the only Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine in the ENT field of Alaska, a fact that he feels sets him apart from other providers due to the more holistic and whole-body approach to medicine that comes with being a DO.
When his career took off, people began to call him Dr. J after his basketball hero, Julius Erving, and it has since become his preferred title.
“It really rings in my ear when I hear people say Dr. J,” Jenson said.
Jensen began his career in the military, where he received most of his medical education. He served as a US Air Force Flight Surgeon for three years. Jensen was born and raised in New Mexico, but has lived all over the United States. His family has moved so often that each of his six children was born in a different state.
Dr. J completed 14 years of military service and looks forward to transitioning his medical practice to the civilian community. Several years ago he was stationed as an ENT doctor at Elmendorf Air Force Base, which is how he caught the Alaska Bug.
“Hook, line and sinker…then they moved me to Las Vegas against my will,” said Jensen.
Now he looks forward to returning to Alaska and taking part in his favorite outdoor activities with his family.
“We’re all excited about moving back to Alaska and participating in everything that Alaska has to offer in the outdoors and just the prime, quality people.”