Biography & Education

It is my privilege to treat each person who chooses my care with respect and dignity as they come to understand the nature of their medical condition and choose a treatment option.
  • Neuro-Otology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Otology
Education Background
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Residency: Otolaryngology, Baylor College of Medicine
Fellowship: Neurotology, Johns Hopkins University
  • English

Care Locations

550 17th Avenue
Suite 540 for Neuro-Otology or Suite 520 for Audiology
Seattle, WA 98122
Affiliated Facilities
Accepting New Patients
Accepting Children
Accepting Medicaid



Cochlear Impant Clinical Trials

Baha Clinical Trials

Program efficiency


Acoustic Neuromas & How We Treat Them

July 17, 2013
Acoustic Neuromas, also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a slow growing  benign tumor on the balance nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain. This is an uncommon condition, found in roughly 1 in 100,000 people. The most common symptoms include hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in your ear), and vertigo (a feeling of imbalance). Because these symptoms are present with many conditions, it is important to see your doctor if they persist more than a few weeks. Your healthcare provider will make a referral to an ENT surgeon or to a Neurotologist if they feel you need further evaluation. Neurotology is a sub-specialty of  otolaryngology (ears, nose, and throat) specializing in the neurological conditions of the ears and brainstem (also referred to as skull base surgery. if an acoustic neuroma is suspected). The neurotologist may conduct a clinical evaluation, hearing and balance tests and imaging studies, such as MRI, to make the diagnosis.  Once diagnosed, there are...

Hearing loss from driving a convertible: reality or myth?

April 29, 2011
 Leave it to the Brits to address such a common question with scientific rigor and analysis! Philip Michael, Niel Opie and Michael Smith, from Worcestershire Royal Hospital in the UK, published a short but information-packed article in the August edition of the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (2010;143:219-22). They looked at seven different types of convertible cars (Audi A4, Porsche 911, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Morgan Roadster, Bentley Continental GT, Toyota MR2, and a Mazda MX5) driving at 50, 60 and 70 mph with windows raised and down. They placed a noise sensor on the traffic side of the car (on the right in the UK- they drive on the wrong side of the road) and took 3 separate measurements in each condition (scientific method at work). All tests were done on similar roadways and in non-rush hour traffic to minimize data contamination. What did they find?

The Odd Syndrome of Bilateral 8th Nerve Tumors

August 25, 2010
Bilateral 8th cranial nerve tumors, also known as vestibular schwannomas or acoustic neuromas (see figure), are pathognomonic of a fascinating syndrome called central neurofibromatosis or neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF-2). NF-2 is a rare, autosomal-dominant disease with an incidence of 1 in 30,000 live births. The mechanism by which the genetic changes underlying NF-2 produce these tumors of a cranial nerve remains a mystery. Interestingly, two other associations are also sufficient to make a diagnosis of NF-2. These are unilateral VS at early age (< 30 years) plus two other specific lesions (meningioma, schwannoma other than VS, glioma or pre-senile cataract), and unilateral VS at early age with an affected first-degree parent, sibling or child. Patients with NF-2 usually present between the ages of 18 and 24 years with tinnitus, hearing loss and balance difficulties. Symptoms of unilateral tinnitus, asymmetric hearing loss or unresolving vertigo or imbalance warrant a gadolinium-enhanced MRI ...


Clinical Interests
  • CyberKnife
  • Gamma Knife
  • The Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment


Patient Ratings and Comments
About Our Survey

The Patient Rating score is based on responses given during the CAHPS Patient Experience Survey. Responses are measured on a 10-point scale, with 10 being the best score. These scores are then translated to a 5-point scale in order to display results in a 5-star rating. Comments are also gathered from the same survey and displayed in their entirety with the exception of any language that may be considered slander, libel or contain private health information, which will be removed prior to publishing the comments.

4.4 out of 5 (97 Ratings, 11 Comments)


I find Dr. Backous to be personable and caring. He took his time with me and I didn't feel rushed into making a decision about neurosurgery.
Swedish Patient

Was delayed another 1/2 hour before I saw the doctor. Was seen by the fellow first, which is okay, but they had to search to find the doctor.
Swedish Patient

Dr. Backous hardly looked at me, came in after his "fellow" examined me and said, "Your symptoms are not caused by the schwannoma. Tough it out and come back in six months. Unless you start falling down or lose control or your bladder - then call right away." When I tried to ask questions about my concerns, he wasn't interested. He was done.
Swedish Patient

I saw another provider prior to seeing Dr. Backous. Dr. Backous spent little time with me. Also, surgery was recommended based on hearing test only as CT scans were not available at the time.
Swedish Patient

Glad i was recommended & glad of where i am now
Swedish Patient

dr Backus is great I would recommend him to anybody and I plan on continuing seeing him for years to come
Swedish Patient

Excellent care from the DR. Excellent comments about the DR. From his staff as well. They all made me feel like I was in the best hands. That really helped alleviate my concerns.
Swedish Patient

Although Dr. Backous spoke a lot of "doctor speak," I did ask him a lot of questions and asked him to clarify, which he did. I did not come away from the appointment feeling confused and I understood my condition by the end of the appointment. The physician's assistant also was kind and well informed of my condition and easy to talk to.
Swedish Patient

I always feel as though Dr. Backous is in a hurry to get somewhere else. I realize he is in great demand because he is so good at his specialty, but I feel a bit short-changed with his time and attention.
Swedish Patient

Dr backous is often very busy and quite rushed. On this occasion he seemed to have more time.
Swedish Patient

Again, Backous was wonderful. [...]
Swedish Patient