Robert L. Mellor, MD

Board-certified surgeon Dr. Robert Lynn Mellor brings many years of training and experience to his position as a specialist in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) at Tanner Clinic Layton.

Dr. Mellor joined Tanner Clinic in 1997. His practice focuses on the full spectrum of ENT care, including allergy testing and treatment, head and neck surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Mellor was born in Laramie, Wyo., and raised in Arkansas. He moved west to earn his B.S. from Brigham Young University. He completed his M.D. at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

Post-graduate training was made up of a two-year residency in general surgery at Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., followed by a three-year residency in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, also in Memphis.

Dr. Mellor is a former chief of surgery at Davis Hospital and Medical Center, where he also served as president of the medical staff.

He is a co-founder of Utah Medical Outreach, a charity organization that flies doctors, nurses and medical supplies to rural areas of Guatemala to provide medical and surgical services. Dr. Mellor continues to travel with the nonprofit, which has been making twice-yearly visits since 1989. There, he treats such conditions as cleft lip and palate, hearing loss and ear tumors.

Dr. Mellor is married and the father of four grown children. He is fluent in Spanish.

What patients are saying about Dr. Mellor

“We love him! Our 3-year old shoved something up her nose. The after-hours clinic doctor couldn’t remove it. Dr. Mellor came in after hours when he had somewhere else to be and quickly and skillfully removed it. He was such a blessing to us that day!”   — Tiffany on Facebook, Sept. 3, 2014

“Dr. Mellor is the best! He is blessed with a God-given talent and we as his patients are blessed to have him take care of us. He has skills beyond words. I recommend him with my whole heart. Not only is he a wonderful doctor he is a wonderful person!”   — Paula on Facebook, Sept. 3, 2014

“Dr. Robert Mellor is amazing. Love his patience and his calmness about everything. Wouldn’t go to anyone else!”   —  Amanda on Facebook, March 31, 2014

Utah's Desert-Dry Air an Enemy to Healthy Sinuses, Says ENT Doc

If Dr. Robert Mellor had his way, visitors to Utah would be welcomed by a large road sign that said: “Don’t pick your nose or blow it too hard.”

Utah’s arid air is responsible for many of the problems commonly seen by this Tanner Clinic ear nose and throat specialist. The fact is, he says, most of us who live in the Beehive State have become “nose abusers.”

“Patients will say, ‘Why do I keep getting nose bleeds?’ or ‘Why do I feel so stuffy?’” he said. “Well, we could cure a lot of it just by treating our noses better.”

We can show loving kindness to our noses by keeping them from drying out, Dr. Mellor said. “Very rarely,” he adds, “should people blow their nose without some kind of moisturizing.”

Some problems arise when the dry air — or is it the nose picking? — creates a crusty area or scab in our nose, inflaming the tissue and blocking air. It feels natural to pick up a Kleenex and blow it out, and we feel great for a few hours.

“But that scab just builds up again,” said Dr. Mellor, “so you blow your nose again. If you do that enough, and you pick your nose and you manipulate your nose, you’ll end up with a hole that goes straight through” the septum, which is the cartilage and membrane wall that separates our nostrils.

That chronic ulcer and hole is called a septum perforation, and “it’s a worse problem than you started with,” he said.

Utah’s dry air is the foe

It makes sense that if dry air is the nose’s enemy, moisture is its best friend. Dr. Mellor recommends no hard nose-blows unless you have some kind of moisture on hand.

“As you moisturize your nose, those crusts get thinner,” said Dr. Mellor. “Moisturizing scabs allows them to soften up and fall away, allowing them to heal. Moisture protects the outside (of the crusty area), so it heals from the bottom out.”

Moisture comes in the form of saline sprays and gels. One product comes in an aloe vera-based cream. Plus, salt and water make a common and simple saline solution. Shy away from petroleum jelly, he says. “There are better things than Vaseline.”

He recommends that patients prone to nosebleeds and stuffy noses use saline spray in the morning and before bed.

And don’t blow hard, he says. If you find blood in your tissue, he adds, “you’re blowing way too hard.”

Surgery is the preferred method of treating a perforated septum. An alternative is to place a “button” type patch in the nose, “but very few people can tolerate that,” he said.

The out-patient surgery takes about an hour and requires only a short recovery. “Most people will recover over a weekend and go back to work on Monday,” he said.

Humidifier a cheap alternative to Hawaii

Humidifiers can help keep the nose and sinuses moisturized. If you use them, however, Dr. Mellor recommends cleaning them periodically to remove unpleasant bacteria. He’s not a big fan of whole-house humidifiers because of the difficulty maintaining them. Instead, he says, “People spend most of their time in their bedroom, so if you have a humidifier there, it will help.”

Or, he adds, you could move to Hawaii. “But then you’d start developing mold allergies.”


A Dive Too Deep

diving-mellor-cropped A DIVE TOO DEEP — Dr.  Robert Mellor’s draw to ENT  began in the months following  his return home from an LDS  mission. During a swim at a  BYU pool, a very deep dive  (from the high dive) went  wrong. He lost hearing as a result of barotrauma, the damage that results from unequal pressure between the outer and inner ear. In his case, the pressure pushed the eardrum inward and ruptured the membranes inside the middle ear. Most of his hearing — about 70% — returned on its own within a few weeks.


In the Media

Dr. Mellor talks about treatment for swimmer’s ear in “Avoid Swimmer’s Ear This Summer”, published by the Standard Examiner on July 7, 2015.