In the presence of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and numerous other institutional positions, including the president of the Higher Institute of Health (ISS), Silvio Brusaferro, the 108th national congress of the Society started at the ‘La Nuvola’ center in Rome. Italian Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (SIOeCHCF), whose works will close on Saturday 28 May. The congress, which also celebrates the 130th anniversary of the scientific society, in these days will address all the medical-surgical specialties of a complex discipline that embraces audiophonic skills, from larynx to deafness to Osas sleep apnea and vertigo. And again with a focus on surgery and head and neck tumors, from facial melanoma to acoustic neuroma.
“For many, the Orl specialist is still the one who must be evaluated for how many tonsils he operates or for how many otitis diagnoses – explains Gaetano Paludetti, president of the congress and director of the Head Neck University Department and Sense Organs and Director of the Otolaryngology Section of the Gemelli Irccs University Hospital Foundation Sacred Heart Catholic University of Rome – In reality, today, we cover the entire head and neck area: from complex and difficult oncology, especially from a surgical point of view, to the application of implantable prostheses such as cochlear implants, electronic medical devices developed for people with severe to profound hearing loss ”.
The implant, in particular, “transforms sounds into electrical signals sent directly to the acoustic nerve – underlines Paludetti – so as to bypass the damaged areas of the ear. But we also deal with medical and surgical pathologies of the middle, inner ear and the lateral skull base, all pathologies of the nose of the paranasal sinuses and the base of the anterior skull, obstructive sleep disorders, pathologies of the salivary glands and finally also of aesthetic problems of the face. Rehabilitation and, therefore, non-surgical treatments of voice, hearing and language disorders also fall within the specialty. As you can see, it deals with a very wide range of problems that makes our specialty often difficult to frame even by legislators who sometimes do not seem to understand its boundaries well ”.
“Otolaryngology is essentially a surgical discipline of the head and neck – affirms Domenico Cuda, president of SIOeCHCF and UOC director of Otolaryngology at the ‘Guglielmo da Saliceto’ hospital in Piacenza -. Our specialists perform around 230,000 surgeries every year. Every day in our departments, operations are performed on the major salivary glands such as parotidectomy, on the thyroid gland, neck cyst removal operations, lymphadenoctomies, tracheotomies. The otolaryngologists then perform most of the oncological surgery procedures in these areas such as laryngectomy, lymphatic emptying, resections of the oral cavity and pharynx. In many centers complex surgical procedures are practiced for the pathologies of the lateral and anterior skull base, border territories with the neurosurgical discipline. Ear interventions are also widely performed, ranging from so-called auditory bionics to interventions on the nose and paranasal cavities as well as some ‘minor’ procedures such as tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy “.
This surgical activity “very often requires the support of dedicated technology – underlines Cuda – such as microscopes, exoscopes, high definition endoscopes, robots, navigators, lasers of various kinds for more accurate and safe results. The activity of the otolaryngologist, however, also contemplates refined instrumental, endoscopic, functional diagnoses and the planning of rehabilitation programs implemented by other health professionals such as hearing aid and speech therapists and is strongly oriented to the themes of prevention and health education “.
Consistent with “this vocation – concludes the expert – in 2021 we organized oncological prevention initiatives on neck swelling and oral cavity cancers. Then, following the WHO recommendations on 1 April, we also went to schools to alert our young people on the risks to hearing deriving from listening to loud music and we have made our facilities available for free screening. Basically we are preparing for the future, for health that is redesigned with the Ministerial Decree 70 and 71 We are ready for precision medicine – he assures – both in medical therapies with new biological drugs for polyposis or oncology, and in surgical therapies with customizable implantable devices and increasingly high-performance robots. We are ready for more mature forms. of telemedicine. Here – he concludes – the future of otolaryngology is already here “.
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