Otology / Neurotology / Lateral Skull Base Surgery


  • K. Paul Boyev, M.D.Director,
    Division of Otology/Neurotology/Lateral Skull Base Surgery

Centers of Excellence

  • USF Hearing and Balance Center
  • USF Cochlear Implant Program
  • USF Center for Skull Base Surgery

Clinical Services

  • Management of acute and chronic ear disease including laser stapedectomy
  • Diagnosis and management of benign and malignant skull base tumors
  • Diagnosis and management of all causes of hearing loss
  • Diagnosis and management of dizziness/imbalance/vertigo
  • Facial Nerve Disorders including paralysis
  • Full Audiology and Vestibular testing services
  • Cochlear implants

K. Paul Boyev, M.D.

Dr. Boyev is a surgical specialist in problems of the ear and the side of the human head. Some of these problems are common, such as hearing loss, dizziness, infections of the ear and more serious diseases like cholesteatoma. Other issues are fortunately rare but can still be quite serious, such as tumors or cancer of the ear and skullbase, facial paralysis, and leakage of cerebrospinal fluid through the nose or ear. Dr. Boyev trained at Harvard Medical School's Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary and is a recognized specialist providing superior care for patients throughout Central Florida and beyond.

Cochlear Implants

The cochlear implant is sometimes called a "bionic ear", and is a surgically implanted device that can be offered to patients born deaf or to those who lose their hearing later in life. In general, cochlear implant patients have hearing so bad that hearing aids are not helpful. Dr. Boyev heads a multi-disciplinary cochlear implant team that features team members from the University of South Florida Department of Communications Disorders as well as from the USF College of Medicine.


Cholesteatoma develops in patients who never develop healthy ears during their early years; typically an individual will describe many ear infections or a past history of PE tubes or other surgery. Dr. Boyev specializes in complex chronic ear surgery, in patients who may have had many prior unsuccessful surgeries.

Acoustic Neuroma

The most common tumor of the side of the skull is an Acoustic Neuroma, a benign growth of the balance nerve. It is found inside the skull where the balance nerve leaves the brain and enters the ear. Fortunately, in most cases these tumors are not cancer – they will not spread all over the body and cause death. Rather, these tumors cause problems by occupying space and growing where there is only room for the brain. Thus, the tumor can press on the nerves, the brainstem, or the brain, causing symptoms such as hearing loss in one ear, ear ringing (tinnitus), or balance disorders. Dr. Boyev manages these tumors as an integral member of the University of South Florida Skullbase Team, in conjunction with USF Neurosurgery.

Dizziness and Balance

The human "sixth sense" is the often overlooked balance organ of the inner ear, which senses whether the head is in motion. Inner ear disorders such as Meniere's Disease can cause disabling episodes of nausea, vomiting, and a spinning sensation. There are other, more common conditions which can affect the sense of balance, including Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Migraine-related dizziness, and Multisensory Deprivation of the Elderly. All of these conditions can be treated. Dizziness is often a very complicated and frustrating problem to treat, for both patients and their doctors. Dr. Boyev has published peer-reviewed papers on these topics and maintains a keen interest in the problem of dizziness. Our facilities include a state-of-the-art diagnostic suite featuring a rotational chair for testing the interaction between the balance organs and the visual system.

Hearing Loss

Approximately 25% of Americans between the age of 65 and 75 have hearing loss, and that number rises to 75% of people age 75 or greater. However, hearing loss is not just a problem for the elderly: Baby Boomers and children alike can be hard of hearing. Personal listening devices and Bluetooth earpieces have never been more popular, and the risks to hearing are therefore increased. The Division of Otology/Neurotology at the University of South Florida Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery offers full audiology services, from pediatric to adult. Hearing Aid evaluations are also offered.