Neck and throat

Tonsil surgery (tonsillectomy)

The tonsils (palatine tonsils) are frequently chronically infected. This is usually accompanied by only brief discomfort and thus does not call for treatment. But when the pain is frequent and strong a tonsillectomy can help restore normalcy.

Analysis

One speaks of chronic tonsillitis if a person has recurring acute tonsillitis accompanied by fever (angina) several times a year, or if there is continuous light pain – a symptom of inflammation. Frequently infected tonsils often produce a granular secretion which can smell unpleasant; this secretion is caused by scarring.

Operation

As a rule, surgery takes place under general anesthesia and is conducted through the mouth. Special instruments are used to remove the tonsils; the operation itself only takes 20–30 minutes. Post-operative pain is comparable to an acute inflammation of the tonsils. Complete recovery usually takes 2 weeks, and the hospital stay is from 3 to 5 days. We will gladly inform you personally of the potential risks.

Removal of the tonsils as a rule does not diminish the body's immune response. The defensive function the tonsils perform is largely lost between age 5 and 10.

Costs

Chronic tonsillitis is regarded as an illness, and in consequence, the (Swiss) health insurance funds usually cover the entire costs.

Throat and neck surgery

This special area includes diseases of the mouth, the throat, the larynx (including the upper part of the esophagus) and the soft tissues of the throat and neck. These diseases are usually inflammations, or benign and malignant tumors.

Analysis

Examination by a specialized doctor is usually sufficient to establish a diagnosis. If further assessment is needed, imaging techniques – such as ultrasound – may be used. In some cases, a CAT-scan or an MRI may be called for.

It is frequently necessary to conduct a fine-needle aspiration biopsy to investigate tumors. In special cases, it can also be necessary, in a brief operation, to take a tissue sample.

Conservative therapy

Many diseases of the throat can be treated with anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing medications, or with antibiotics.

Surgical intervention

However, some diseases do not respond, or respond only partly, to medication. A surgical procedure can help heal the disease, or at least more favorably influence the course the disease takes. Highly specialized operating  techniques and instruments aid us here; we will be glad to inform you personally about the possible risks involved.

Costs

As a rule, the (Swiss) health insurance funds cover the costs of the aforementioned treatments or operations.