There is confusion among patients and physicians in regards to the actual work performed in the head and neck area, especially in how this work is divided between different types of surgeons. The anatomy of the head is very compact, and several structures are sufficiently complex as to warrant their own specialty, such as the brain and eye. Surgeons who work in the head and neck area include:
- General surgeons
- Plastic surgeons
- Vascular surgeons
- Endocrine surgeons
- Oral surgeons
- Spine surgeons
- Thoracic surgeons
- Pediatric surgeons
In the 1980s, as an attempt to better describe the training and expertise of otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors) the American Academy of Otolaryngology added the term “Head and Neck Surgery” onto the official name of the national society, thus becoming the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. An otolaryngologist is able to perform surgery on all structures found in the head and neck except for the brain, cervical spine, and the eyeballs. We have fellowship training available which will allow for added expertise in certain areas, such as facial plastic surgery, cancer surgery, pediatric surgery, rhinology, otology, as well as others, which involves one or two years of training after the general otolaryngology residency.
The American Board of Otolaryngology is responsible for ensuring that all doctors trained in an otolaryngology – head and neck residency are competent, knowledgeable, and indeed well-prepared to treat patients. They must meet specific standards to become board eligible and then pass a rigorous written and oral examination to become board certified. All of our physicians at Capital Region Otolaryngology are board certified.
We have been performing head and neck surgery for the surrounding Capital Region communities for many years. Our doctors are well-trained and have expertise in all areas of the head and neck. We perform surgeries on patients of all ages from infants to the elderly, operating on:
- Neck structures including the salivary glands and thyroid gland
- Benign and cancerous growths
We take pride in our efforts to help the patient who will require this type of surgery. We understand that having a surgical procedure can be a stressful time for the patient and their family. Our courteous staff assists in planning the procedures and our doctors help the patient and their family with careful explanations of the surgical procedure, the postoperative care involved and aid with planning any further therapy that may be required. Our doctors are continually updated on new techniques using the latest technology available to ensure good results. Some recent advances include laser surgery, endoscopic surgery, radio frequency surgery and coblation surgery.
To learn more about head and neck surgery, please visit our academy website.