Head & Neck Disorder Treatment in Foley, AL
What are head and neck disorders?
Head and neck disorders of the ear, nose, and throat include a wide range of conditions, including thyroid and parathyroid disorders, neck cancer, growths on the neck, such as cysts and lymph nodes, as well as other head and neck problems. At ENT Centers of Excellence, Dr. Keith Kowal provides compassionate care and the latest treatments for all types of head and neck disorders, including facial carcinomas.
What head and neck disorders can an ENT physician treat?
Here’s an overview of the different types of head and neck disorders and diseases that our specialists treat at ENT Centers of Excellence in Foley and Daphne, Alabama.
Thyroid and Parathyroid Disorders
Dr. Kowal treats both thyroid and parathyroid conditions, disorders that affect millions of Americans. The parathyroid produces parathyroid hormone (PTH) that helps balance calcium and phosphorous in the body. Common thyroid problems are caused by too much or too little hormone production in the thyroid or parathyroid. Another common condition is enlargement of the thyroid, also known as goiter.
Growths on the Head and Neck
Any unusual lump or protrusion on the neck or head should be evaluated to determine if it is cancerous. A thorough head and neck exam will be performed, including endoscopy, imaging and biopsies, as needed. Our head and neck specialists can also perform surgical removal. Growths may or may not cause neck pain. If benign, removal may be the best treatment. Benign growths on the neck can stem from a number of causes including:
- Congenital cysts
- Skin cysts
- Enlarged lymph nodes from an infection
- Benign thyroid disorders
Cancer of the Head and Neck
More than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck each year. Types of head and neck cancers include oral cancer and neck/throat cancers such as thyroid cancer, laryngeal cancer and pharyngeal cancer. The good news is that most cases of head and neck cancer are detectable from early symptoms, which may include neck pain.
Early symptoms of head and neck cancers include:
- Changes in voice – Most cancers in the larynx cause changes in your voice. If you are hoarse or notice voice change for more than two weeks, it’s important to see Dr. Kowal.
- Lump in the neck – A lump in the neck can be the first sign of cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx or thyroid gland. The lumps are usually painless but continue to grow steadily. If you notice a lump in your neck that lasts more than two weeks, you should be seen by Dr. Kowal as soon as possible.
- Growth in the mouth – Many cancers of the mouth or tongue cause swelling that does not go away. It is usually painless, but bleeding can occur. If the swelling persists, you should seek a medical evaluation.
- Blood in saliva – If blood appears in your saliva or phlegm for more than a few days, you should be evaluated.
- Difficulty swallowing – Cancer of the throat or esophagus can make swallowing difficult.
- Changes in the skin – Basal cell carcinoma is the most common head and neck cancer. It usually appears as a small, pale patch that enlarges slowly, producing a central “dimple” and eventually an ulcer. Fortunately, it has a very good prognosis if treated early. Dr. Kowal has expertise in treating patients with facial carcinomas.
- Persistent earache – Constant pain in or around the ear can be either a sign of an ear infection or a tumor growth in the throat. If it is associated with difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or a lump in the neck, it can be serious and warrants medical evaluation.
How are head and neck disorders treated?
Just as the causes vary for head and neck disorders and diseases, the treatment options vary as well. ENT Centers of Excellence can order various types of imaging and perform a biopsy in order to make an accurate diagnosis. If conservative therapies such as medications will not produce successful outcomes, Dr. Kowal, our head and neck specialist, can perform surgical procedures. For head and neck cancer, Dr. Kowal’s treatment services include dissection, resection, and traditional surgery. In some cases, Dr. Kowal may be able to perform transoral robotic surgery (TORS), an advanced, minimally invasive surgery. With TORS, there is less scarring, disfigurement and shorter recovery times.
Whatever the course of therapy for your head and neck disorder, Dr. Kowal’s top priority is to restore normal function and provide a full recovery.
Dr. Keith Kowal is a highly experienced ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist in Foley and Daphne, AL with expertise in treating head and neck disorders. He is pleased to offer cutting edge robot-assisted surgery, which may be effective in treating certain types of head and neck conditions. If you have symptoms of any of the head and neck disorders described above, the first step is to arrange a consultation at ENT Centers of Excellence. Dr. Keith Kowal will diagnose and discover exactly what’s causing your symptoms and recommend the best treatment options for your needs. Call 251.943.1117 now to schedule an appointment or simply fill out the form on this page.