The head and neck region is one of the most essential, and complex areas of the human body. It not only provides a transport corridor of nerves and blood vessels between the brain and the body, but itself harbours an array of functional organs responsible for essentials like breathing, swallowing, speech, chewing, hearing, eyesight, balance, contact, exchange of emotions, hormone production and many others. Due to its confined space, the head and neck region actually represents the densest collection of such vital structures in the human body.
When lumps or even tumours arise in the head and neck region, patients and doctors are often faced with a difficult dilemma between wanting to remove the lump while at the same time trying to preserve the vital structures responsible for quality of life as much as possible. In order to successfully navigate this ‘’minefield’’, it is obvious that patients are best served with as much information as possible.
Getting a second opinion is an approach which is often overlooked in the patients’ quest to improve their information capital. As medical opinion varies in time and space, seeking a second opinion from a different medical professional may help to both confirm the initial diagnosis as well as provide a fresh perspective and can potentially uncover additional diagnostic options or treatment alternatives. Exploring various options can empower you to make informed decisions about your healthcare and ensure you have the space and environment in which to compare the risk/benefit ratio of each treatment option calmly and peacefully within the context of not only the strengths of scientific knowledge but also the limitations. Knowing that you have considered additional expert opinions and validated your initial diagnosis can increase your understanding and confidence in the recommended treatment plan, allowing you and your loved ones to focus on your healing process.
Remember, it is your right as a patient to seek multiple perspectives on your condition, and doing so can positively impact your treatment journey, leading to better outcomes and improved quality of life.
Vascular anomalies comprise a broad spectrum of disorders ranging from benign skin blemishes to complex and life-threatening diseases. Vascular malformations are congenital anomalies of the vascular system that often affect the head and neck region. They are typically present at birth and often grow proportionately with the patient.
Vascular birthmarks present a challenge to the general physician, as many entities that may look alike carry different diagnoses. Symptoms depend on the affected anatomical structures and can range from swelling to life-threatening bleeding, airway obstruction or blindness. Therefore ensuring the correct diagnosis is crucial to obtaining an optimal outcome.
The laser treatment of vascular malformations can provide significant benefits to individuals by improving their symptoms and enhancing their quality of life. The laser targets abnormal blood vessels, leading to their closure and reducing the appearance of the malformation. This can alleviate pain, swelling, and discomfort associated with the condition, as well as improve the aesthetic appearance of the affected area.
No two vascular anomalies are exactly the same. As a result neither is the care plan. Patients can expect an individual approach to diagnosis, management and treatment. These will be based on a wide range of treatment options, including surgery, laser therapy, and medical therapy to not only treat the underlying condition but also maintain optimal cosmetic results.
Dr. Volkert B. Wreesmann MD PhD is an experienced doctor who specialises in both medical and surgical solutions to problems within the head and neck region. These include disorders of the ears, nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, voice, skin, face, neck, skull base, salivary and (para)thyroid glands, airway, and swallowing system.