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Head medicine involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the brain, the nervous system, the cerebral vessels, the eyes and the ears. Recognised specialists from the fields of neurology, neurosurgery and neuroradiology as well as specialists in ear-nose-and-throat diseases and plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, ophthalmology and oncology work closely together as an interdisciplinary team.
The specialists guarantee professional clarification and treatment of all diseases of the head in specialist centres of expertise. Interdisciplinary cooperation with specialists from other areas is encouraged and is essential for providing optimum patient treatment.
The otorhinolaryngologist is a specialist in all aspects of ear, nose and throat (ENT) care. His area of expertise encompasses all the structures and organs of the head and neck, excluding the brain and eyes.
He is an expert in all the disorders that can affect these organs, and the types of examination that are used for precise diagnosis. The otorhinolaryngologist can test a patient's hearing, balance, sense of smell and taste.
He is well informed about the uses and side effects of the various drugs available to him in treating disorders.
Hearing difficulties, snoring or nasal polyps are amongst conditions that the otorhinolaryngologist can alleviate by means of surgery. Microsurgery and other modern technological aids enable the specialist to replace the ear's deformed ossicles with implants and reconstruct perforated eardrums.
Our oral and maxillofacial surgery specialism is concerned with diagnosis and treatment of diseases, malformations, and injuries in the facial area. These include:
To train as a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery a doctor must have successfully completed courses in both dental medicine and human medicine. The actual training of a consultant in this field corresponds to that of all surgical specialisms, i.e. 2 years' general surgery and 4 years' specialist training, including 3 months' anaesthiology.
Within the Hirslanden Group, the specialist area of oral and maxillofacial surgery is covered by doctors in independent practice with access to a certain number of clinic beds. In addition, some clinics have centres (cfc Hirslanden, dental and maxillary clinic) that concentrate particularly on treating complex problems that frequently require inter-disciplinary collaboration with other specialisms.
Neurosurgery deals specifically with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and injuries of the entire nervous system. The neurosurgeon works closely with the neurologist.
His area of expertise encompasses operations such as the removal of brain or spinal cord tumours, and the treatment of brain haemorrhages as well as slipped discs. He is also responsible for surgery on the nerves of the face, hands and legs.
He makes use of special surgical techniques for operating on the nervous system. It is important, especially during operations on brain tumours, not to damage the surrounding healthy tissue. That is why neurosurgery uses very modern, computer-aided navigation systems that allow a high degree of precision.
The CyberKnife system introduces new ways of treating benign and certain malignant brain tumours and deformities of the brain's blood vessels without having to open the skull.
Neurology is the study of the nervous system, encompassing brain, spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system, as well as the musculature of the human body.
The neurologist knows about all the deformities and disorders of the nervous system and musculature, and what can go wrong with them. This includes migraine, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease as well as chronic sleep disorders and difficulties with movement.
The neurologist has received special training in the various methods of examination used to diagnose the above conditions. He can, for example, measure electrical activity in the brain or extract and examine fluids from the spine.
A neurologist treats his patients with medication. If an operation is needed, the patient will be transferred to the neurosurgeon.
An ophthalmologist specialises in eyes. He knows about the various structures and functions in and around the eye. He treats all kinds of injuries and disorders of the eye, eyelid and eye muscles. Cataracts (a lens disorder), glaucoma (pressure in the eye) and strabismus (squint) are among the best-known disorders.
Specialist equipment is used to check the patient's vision or the pressure inside his eye, amongst other things. The results of these tests help the ophthalmologist to reach a diagnosis and choose a method of treatment. He will then show the patient how to apply it.
An ophthalmologist can carry out operations on the eye such as corneal transplantation or lens replacement if he has received further training in ophthalmic surgery. Present-day eye operations use the latest techniques, such as lasers or microsurgery, to ensure that the surgical intervention is precise and meticulous.
The ophthalmologist is also able to perform complex tear duct surgery when working alongside an otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist).
Dentistry is concerned with disorders of the teeth, mouth and jaw.
The dental surgeon, or dentist, knows about the various ways of repairing diseased teeth or replacing missing ones. He knows which materials need to be used to do this and what their effect is on the human body. He also corrects misaligned teeth and jaws. He counsels his patients on how to look after their teeth and gums so as to avoid caries and conditions such as inflammations of the gum.
Surgically, the dentist often works alongside oral and maxillofacial surgeons, especially when it comes to correcting a deformity or the consequences of an accident involving the mouth and teeth. The dentist can undertake further training to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
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