Three Generations of Wisdom 3

Dr. Barry Pate, Jr. Brings A Family Practice Into The Future

There are plenty of things Dr. Barry Pate, Jr. loves about his work, but one facet of the daily grind he particularly enjoys might surprise people. “I like to work with my hands,” he says; as an ear, nose and throat specialist, hands-on healing is a big part of the job. The old-fashioned appeal of working with one’s hands fits with Dr. Pate’s vision of his business. His practice, WNC Ear Nose and Throat, was founded by his father in 1962; his grandfather J. Frank Pate worked as a general practitioner in the area beginning in 1928. Continuing a generation-spanning legacy of outstanding healthcare in WNC, Dr. Pate honors tradition while continually updating his offerings to provide cutting-edge care.

He is particularly excited to provide Ultherapy®, a recently-developed treatment that uses ultrasound technology to improve the appearance of the brow, chin, neck and chest. Ultherapy®  bypasses the skin’s surface, making it completely non-invasive — in fact, it is the only non-invasive treatment specifically FDA-cleared to improve lines and wrinkles on the face, neck and décolletage area. Ultherapy® works by stimulating the body using targeted soundwaves; this sparks the growth of new collagen and strengthens older collagen. The change in appearance happens gradually as collagen develops over the course of three to six months, though some patients see an improvement right away.

The immediate shift some patients may see is just one of the ways in which Ultherapy® differs from a traditional facelift. The two are not perfect comparisons: its results are less dramatic and permanent than those of a facelift, fading after two-three years. However, Ultherapy® sidesteps many of the drawbacks of a conventional facelift. The treatment offers no risk of infection and is relatively painless: no anaesthesia is required; Dr. Pate just recommends that patients with a low pain threshold take an over the counter medication beforehand. Also, there’s no downtime.

No downtime means  patients can go back to living their lives as usual right after a treatment, making it perfect for busy professionals or those who simply don’t want to face weeks of staying indoors. It also offers a subtle, natural look, which Dr. Pate notes is appealing for many of his patients. The major draw, however, is its uniquely non-invasive technique. This is part of why it’s attracting attention from other parts of the medical community. “They’re looking at doing focused ultrasound on tumors,” Dr. Pate says, noting that the sound waves can be focused in such a way that they target malignant growths without damaging the healthy tissue that surrounds them.

Needless to say, the tools that Dr. Pate uses are a bit different than those of prior generations. When his grandfather started working as a company doctor for Enka textiles, using sound waves to heal tumors would have been considered within the realm of science fiction. Even when Dr. Pate’s father began practicing, it would have been impossible to imagine a treatment like Ultherapy®. The constant innovation of the medical world keeps the profession exciting, and Dr. Pate is keen to stay on top of new advancements. “My business is constantly looking for ways to diversify and add new services for clients,” he says. He believes that Ultherapy® will be around for a while: since it was released, it has seen over four hundred thousand treatment cases, none of which have had unintended consequences. Since the treatment is still new, however, Asheville is fortunate to have his expertise: he is WNC’s only otolaryngologist certified to administer Ultherapy®.

When it comes to ear, nose and throat care, some things never change. Many of the best habits for this “are common sense,” says Dr. Pate. His number one piece of advice? Don’t smoke! “If people quit smoking, I’d have to find something else to do,” he warns. He also likes to remind patients who use neti pots to do so only with distilled water, and warns against the use of Q-tips and ear candling. As it turns out, good judgement will always be the best way to ensure that you won’t have to see the doctor.

For everything common sense can’t solve, however, Dr. Pate and his team are ready to help. His private, independent practice has been providing families with the very best in otolaryngology for generations. In 2017, Dr. Pate will celebrate twenty years of working in Asheville. While he and his father have a wealth of memories to be proud of, the best is surely yet to come.