Diseases of the face and throat area

  • Lymph node swelling

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    The normal size of a non-visual and non-palpable lymph node in the throat is only a few millimetres. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic or immune system and are responsible for fending off diseases. In case of an infection of the upper respiratory tract (e.g. tonsillitis), the lymph nodes take up their function and swell up, they become visible and palpable. A painless enlargement is called lymphadenopathy. An inflammation of the lymph nodes is called lymphadenitis. Swollen lymph nodes are clinically examined in the laboratory (blood test) and by ultrasound. In some cases a ultrasound-controlled fine needle aspiration biopsy for the (cytological) examination of the cells might be necessary.

  • Salivary gland diseases

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    Salivary glands may be affected by inflammatory and non-inflammatory changes and tumours. A common, non-inflammatory disease is the formation of a salivary stone (sialolithiasis). In this case, the affected salivary gland swells up and causes pain directly after food intake. Diagnosis is performed by means of a systematic questionnaire (medical history), a clinical examination as well as ultrasound. Salivary gland infections (sialadenitis) can be acute or chronic and caused by e.g. bacterial or viral infections. Treatment is carried out depending on the cause and diagnosis, with antibiotics, symptomatic cooling or surgical procedures.

  • Malformations of the throat

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    Congenital malformations of the throat include fistulas (passage structure between different organs or cavities) and cysts (cavities filled with fluid). In addition, there are also changes of the vessels (vascular malformations) such as haemangiomas and more rarely, benign tumours of the lymphatic vessels (lymphangioma). In addition to the clinical examination, first diagnostic steps include an ultrasound of the throat. Depending on the location, some malformations can be surgically removed. If fistulas or cysts are inflamed, a course of antibiotics can provide relief.

  • Thyroid enlargements and nodes

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    The thyroid gland (Glandula thyreoidea) is a butterfly-shaped gland which is located in the throat below the larynx and in front of the trachea. Its main function is the production of two hormones, which are co-responsible for a normal metabolism and which mainly contain of iodine. In order to compensate for iodine deficiency, the growth of the thyroid gland is stimulated and thus enlarges (goitre). Other reasons for changes of the thyroid gland can include inflammations, benign or malignant neoplasms and cysts. The cause investigation is performed by ultrasound, ultrasound-controlled fine needle aspiration and laboratory chemical tests.

  • Facial injuries

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    The spectrum of facial injuries is broad and ranges from abrasions to fractures. Careful first aid, which needs to be administered promptly, includes cleaning of wounds, the removal of foreign objects and usually wound closure. In case of nasal bone fractures, the nose can be repositioned under local anaesthesia or short narcosis.


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