Head and Neck Center
We are responsible for the treatment of ear, nose and throat diseases, eye diseases, and oral and maxillofacial diseases. The Head and Neck Center is one of the 13 departments in the Helsinki University Hospital Area.
The Head and Neck Center is a nationally significant center for diseases of the head and neck area. In addition to the Helsinki metropolitan area, we have activities in Porvoo, Lohja, Raseborg, and Hyvinkää. We also treat patients from all around Finland.
All our specialties provide emergency care around the clock.
The division of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases is one of Europe’s largest ENT centers operating in a single building. We receive nearly 25,000 new referrals each year, our outpatient clinics examine and treat 80,000 patients, and conduct surgical procedures on 6,500 patients. We perform 76% of our surgeries as ambulatory procedures.
The treatment of patients in need of demanding inpatient care, surgery and rehabilitation has been centralized in the Eye and Ear Hospital in the Meilahti campus. In the Eye and Ear Hospital, we are also responsible for the demanding treatment of ENT diseases within the specific catchment area. In addition, we provide ENT treatment in the Hyvinkää, Lohja, Porvoo, and Raseborg hospitals.
Infections due to various causes still form a significant part of the disease spectrum within the ENT specialty. Infections and inflammations in the upper respiratory tract (middle ear, sinuses, and pharynx) cover approximately half of all our patient contacts. In hearing rehabilitation, the largest group are those with hearing impairment due to old age. In a university hospital, however, the work is focused on the treatment of hearing impairment among working-age people and children. Tumors in the sinuses, cranial base and neck, as well as corrective and rehabilitative ear surgery, fall within the field of activities of a university hospital. HUS has a phoniatrics outpatient clinic and day center. In phoniatrics, we treat children's speech and language disorders, as well as voice problems in adults.
The Eye Diseases division is the largest unit in our country that treats and investigates eye diseases. Our clinic is responsible for the specialist medical care in eye diseases and for vision rehabilitation in the Helsinki University Hospital Area and, in accordance with the agreed division of work, also within the entire Uusimaa region. The clinic is the only ophthalmology unit continuously on-call in the district, and the only 24/7 retinal surgery unit in Finland.
We also provide special-level services nationwide. In Europe, the Department of Eye Diseases is a respected center for the treatment and research of eye cancer, and research and treatment of eye cancer and eye pathology in Finland have been centralized in our clinic. We are also the only public sector hospital where refractive surgery is performed using excimer laser, albeit with strict indications. We are also the only clinic performing lamellar corneal transplantations that allow one donor to restore vision to four eyes.
In quantitative terms, the single most frequent procedure performed in the Department of Eye Diseases is cataract surgery. The share of retinal and vitreous surgery has been on the increase and there is still a need for more procedures to be performed. For the treatment of severe glaucoma, we have developed a ciliary body laser treatment utilizing the red wavelength. As a result, it is very rare that an eye needs to be removed due to blindness and pain caused by high intraocular pressure. We operate the only outpatient clinic for hereditary ophthalmology, where an internationally renowned research group studies hereditary hearing–visual impairment. Our Diabetes and Vascular Occlusion Outpatient Clinic was the first of its kind in Finland, and its research on macular degeneration and diabetes is internationally renowned.
The Oral and Maxillofacial Disease division consists of the specialties of oral and maxillofacial surgery, clinical dental care and orthodontics. In reconstructive surgery, the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases is one of the world's leading units in applying stem cell research results to clinical patient care. In the 3D design and development of surgical treatments, the department is one of the best in Europe–we collaborate with both domestic and foreign equipment and software manufacturers. Biomaterials are a new research topic in surgery.
Oral and maxillofacial diseases that require specialist medical care are treated in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases with special expertise in cariology, endodontics, periodontics, and prosthetics. An important and growing field of work is the caries removal in cases of oral foci of infection due to a systemic disease or treatment of a disease.
In addition, we treat inflammatory and developmental changes in the gums and mucous membranes associated with a severe systemic disease or syndrome; diseases of the oral mucous membrane associated with skin and autoimmune diseases and rheumatic diseases, as well as periodontal disease developing in childhood or during adolescence.
Treatment of severe malocclusion requiring both orthodontic and surgical treatment has been concentrated in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases. In dental occlusion rehabilitation, a challenging group of patients is the oral cancer patients and patients with extensive congenital absence of teeth.