Dr Tan Yau Boon Barrie

Dr Tan Yau Boon Barrie

English, Mandarin
Last updated 01 Nov 2023

Key Achievements

  • Performed more than 200 cochlear implant surgeries in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh
  • Performed more than 100 different endoscopic ear surgeries including endoscopic tympanoplasties
  • Introduced endoscopic ear surgeries in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in 2014
  • Operated on paediatric patients from infants to babies in SGH in 2012 to 2019
  • Started the ENT surgery department at Sengkang General Hospital in 2013


Dr Barrie Tan is an ENT specialist at Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore.

He is experienced in managing ENT conditions such as sinus problems, snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, allergic rhinitis, voice problems, thyroid nodules, neck lumps, hearing loss, tinnitus and giddiness.

Dr Tan is a President’s Scholar and has over 20 years of clinical and surgical experience. For more than 6 years, he was a senior consultant and the head of the department of otolaryngology (ENT) at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). During his tenure, he routinely managed and operated on young children with ENT conditions.

He is well known for his expertise in treating hearing loss, as well as performing endoscopic ear surgeries.

Dr Tan introduced endoscopic ear surgeries in SGH in 2014 and has been actively spearheading its adoption and development in Singapore since. He has performed over 100 ear surgeries endoscopically, ranging the entire gamut of different ear surgeries. These include endoscopic tympanoplasty, myringoplasty, tympanomastoidectomy, ossiculoplasty, stapedotomy and stapedectomy, as well as endoscopic facial nerve decompression.

He trained at the Ear Science Institute Australia upon completion of his specialist ENT training, and performed complex ear surgeries, cochlear implantations and other hearing implant surgeries independently during his surgical fellowship.

Upon his return to Singapore, he was appointed as the director of the Centre for Hearing and Ear Implants at SGH and held the directorship for almost 7 years.

He is also an experienced cochlear implant surgeon, having personally performed over 200 cochlear implant surgeries in Singapore and countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

He is often invited to lecture at international conferences on his experience in cochlear implant surgeries, and invited as an instructor in specialised ear surgery workshops and courses. He has served as a course director in numerous symposia and masterclasses in cochlear implant surgery, such as the Singapore General Hospital Cochlear Implant Surgery Masterclass Course in 2017 and 2018.

He is passionate about bringing surgical innovations and updates in medical technology to Singapore and the Southeast Asian region, and is an early adopter of approved innovative surgical techniques and surgical hearing implants.

In particular, Dr Tan performed the inaugural surgeries and implantations of the following cochlear implant devices in Southeast Asia: Advanced Bionics 3D Cochlear Implant (2019) and Advanced Bionics Ultra Cochlear Implant (2017).

He has also performed the inaugural surgeries and implantations of the following specialised hearing implants in Singapore: Transcutaenous Cochlear ATTRACT Bone Anchored Hearing Aid Implant (2015), Cochlear Carina Implant (2014), Cochlear CI 532 cochlear implant (2018), and Advanced Bionics Slim J cochlear implant (2018).

He is the current president of the ASEAN Otorhinolaryngological (ENT) Head & Neck Federation, and was the president of the Society of Otolaryngology (ENT) Head & Neck Surgery Singapore from 2017 – 2019.

He is also an avid teacher, spending much of his time teaching and nurturing the next generation of ENT surgeons. From 2012 – 2014, he was the director of the SingHealth ENT Residency Training Program. He was also appointed as a member of the National ENT Residency Advisory Committee which oversees the 3 ENT Residency programmes in Singapore.

He has organised several major ENT conferences in Singapore. He was the organising president of the 18th ASEAN Otorhinolaryngological Federation Congress in Singapore in 2019, and the conference president of the 6th ASEAN Academy of Neuro-Oto-Audiology (AANOA) Congress in Singapore in 2016.

Besides being a surgical innovator, Dr Tan is also an administrative innovator. He co-founded the SingHealth-Duke NUS Head and Neck Centre in 2014, and from 2014 – 2018, served as the deputy head of the SingHealth-Duke NUS Head and Neck Centre. In this capacity, he helped to coordinate the development of multidisciplinary head and neck surgery capabilities and care of complex head and neck conditions in the various SingHealth hospitals and institutions.

He also has a passion in building clinical teams. He began and developed the new ear, nose and throat surgery department at Sengkang General Hospital. He was the pro-tem head of the department of ENT at Sengkang General Hospital from 2013 – 2018, whilst concurrently being the head of the department of (ENT) at SGH.

He relished the opportunity to forge a new dynamic team of ENT specialists, audiologists and nurses, and meticulously worked towards providing excellent ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery services to the community in the north-eastern part of Singapore.

Dr Tan was conferred the President’s Scholarship in 1994 by the Public Service Commission, and was awarded the scholarship to study medicine in the National University of Singapore. He excelled in medical school, topping his cohort and winning the Gibb’s Gold Medal in 1999, which is given to the top student in general proficiency over the 5-year course.

He volunteers at the Canossian School, which runs a special education programme for children with hearing impairment and who wear hearing devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants. He examines the ears, removes ear wax and takes care of the ear health issues of the preschool children. He has also travelled overseas frequently to perform medical mission work in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.

He believes in utilising his skillsets to help communities in need, and therefore volunteers his time and effort pro bono on a regular basis. In the past, he performed ear surgeries like myringoplasties and mastoidectomies in rural communities. In recent years, he has been performing cochlear implant surgeries for deaf Vietnamese children in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City under the Hear-The-World programme.

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