I am proud to welcome you to the website of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.
The new Department is built on the firm foundation laid by the dedicated clinicians, teachers and researchers who have served the Division of Otorhinolaryngology within the University's Department of Surgery. I am particularly excited by the fact that we are the first single unit in Hong Kong and Asia that is able to offer a full one-stop service for people with a great variety of hearing disorders. An enhanced focus will also lead to more convenient and higher quality services, since we will be able to ensure the strictest adherence to the specific clinical and administrative standards demanded of our particular specialty. In addition, in an independent department, our strong empathy with our patients can be fully supported by providing them with the very best in information and education to help them deal with severe and long drawn out challenges.
The newly constituted Department will also commit to a strong and varied multidisciplinary research programme that can support really comprehensive provision for people in need. Our overarching aim takes us well beyond the successful treatment of illness to new insights into head, neck and throat cancers and the enhancement of human communication by means of the latest technologies and refinements in scientific knowledge.
On 1 August 2007, The Chinese University of Hong Kong formally constituted an independent Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery under the Faculty of Medicine. This further strengthens its current leading position as a provider of medical and surgical treatment of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) and head and neck surgery, as well as clinical aspects of communicative disorders and training and research opportunities relevant to all these concerns.
The evolution into an independent academic department builds on the very significant achievements since 1985 of the dedicated clinicians, teachers and researchers who have served the Division of Otorhinolaryngology within the University's Department of Surgery. This transition places us firmly in line with the international and Mainland China classification of ENT as an independent medical specialty and an established academic discipline.
Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery encompasses a wide spectrum of disorders and diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and head and neck. It has been subdivided into sub-specialties or divisions by the international medical community. The divisions are managed by sub-specialist experts in their fields and usually exist as self standing disciplines. In keeping with this international de facto structural organization, the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at The Chinese University of Hong Kong established eight divisions. This is essential for the service, training, research commitments and vision of the department as a whole and of each sub-specialty division within the department. The eight academic divisions are:
With the joint efforts and dedication of colleagues at all levels, we will continue to strive towards "serving the community through quality education, caring practice, and advancement of health sciences" - the mission of the Faculty of Medicine.
Centred at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Shatin, the University's teaching hospital, the Department is fully committed to delivery of high quality patient services throughout the New Territories East and Kowloon East clusters of the Hospital Authority, with whom it works closely. It is closely affiliated with the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po, New Territories and the United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong, Kowloon. Outreach outpatient clinics and day surgery are also based at the North District Hospital in Fanling, New Territories and Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Tseung Kwan O.
The Department takes care of the widest possible spectrum of disorders and diseases of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck. It provides both emergency and elective ENT, head & neck, audiology and speech therapy service to an expanding population, currently at over 2 million, in the New Territories East of Hong Kong. Operations performed range from day surgery to major procedures including cochlear implantation and head and neck tumour resections. Outpatient services include general ENT clinics as well as dedicated subspecialist clinics covering voice, allergy, dysphagia, chronic ear problems and paediatric airway problems. Private consultations are conducted by the Department's specialist staff.
The Department provides enriched clinical teaching for undergraduate medical students as well as strengthens professional training for interns and specialist provision for ENT trainees, and it will supervise postgraduate research and training.
The Department provides training to undergraduates at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as basic and advanced surgical training to postgraduates towards specialist recognition in Hong Kong - Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (FHKAM) and Fellowship of the Hong Kong College of Otorhinolaryngologists (FHKCORL). ENT update courses for primary care physicians and nurses are co-organised with the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians.
The Department runs regular courses in Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS Course) for local and overseas ENT specialists and trainees and commissioned training by distinguished overseas speakers with the Hospital Authority. An active temporal bone laboratory is run and participated by the Department's specialist trainers and trainees.
The outstanding track record of research will continue, and even greater strides will be taken in head and neck cancer, including the nasopharyngeal cancers so highly prevalent in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Southern China. The Department will also advance in such rapidly developing areas as surgical treatments for deafness in adults and children, minimal invasive ENT surgery, Asian facial plastic techniques and ENT problems in children.
Otology deals with the diagnosis and management of diseases of the outer and middle ear while neurotology deals with the diagnosis and management of diseases that affect the inner ear and its nerve connections to the brain. The ear is vital for hearing and therefore for the development of language and speech in children and for aural communication in an oral world. Patients with hearing loss often suffer from a sense of detachment, and so restoring hearing through precise and skillful microscopic surgery of the middle or inner ear benefits the patient and the wider community.
The Division of Otology & neurotology has established international reputation in reconstructive middle ear surgery, hearing implantation and surgery of the skull base surgery. The reputation has been strengthened by the running of international and local conferences, by international training workshops, by the establishment of the Institute of Human Communicative Research and of the charity/community service arm - The Hear Talk Foundation.
Rhinology deals with vast spectrum of diseases of the nose and nasal sinuses including allergies, bleeding, tumours, disorders of smell and infections. Diseases that affect the nose often affect vital surrounding structures such as the eyes and the brain. The nose is also used as a route to operate on the pituitary gland and so the sub-specialty overlaps with ophthalmology, neurosurgery and allergology.
The former Division of Otorhinolaryngology has been running annual international Rhinology workshops in Hong Kong and mainland China for many years. It has pioneered the use of minimally invasive techniques for sinus surgery in Asia, the use of image guidance systems and the epidemiology of nasal sinus tumours. Over the years, clinical trials and outcomes assessment as well as quality of life research in one of the most common ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) diseases, namely allergic rhinitis, have put the sub-specialty at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on the international map.
Laryngology involves the diagnosis and management of functional and structural abnormalities of the larynx. The complex nature of the larynx, its vital role in preventing food entering the lung and its essential function in the production of speech upon which most communication is based and the expertise needed to diagnose and treat a spectrum of pathologies has led to the development of this subspecialty. Swallowing disorders are often closely related to the function of the larynx and affect patients not only with laryngeal pathology, but also who have had strokes or who have received radiation therapy. The Division of Laryngology is a local leader in the field of dysphagia with a dedicated clinic to patients with swallowing problems.
As the name of the Department implies, Head and Neck Surgery forms a major part of the specialty. Head and neck surgery deals with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer of the upper aero digestive tract including the nose, mouth, throat and voice box as well as cancer that spreads from these cavities to the lymph glands in the neck. Reconstruction of the surgical defect is essential to achieve an acceptable functional and aesthetic outcome.
This sub-specialty has a long track record as being the leader in research in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The second edition of a text book on Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, edited by the former Division of Otorhinolaryngology and available in both Chinese and English is a standard reference for researcher and clinicians. Basic science and clinical research in other head and neck cancer continues with active collaboration between the Departments of Surgery and Clinical Oncology.
Paediatric Otorhinolaryngology deals with the diseases of the ears, nose and throat that occur in the paediatric population. They have unique pathologies and diseases that require specific expertise and management strategies. These include the child's ability to breath normally, as the airway is proportionally smaller than at any other time in the humans life and is therefore especially vulnerable to infections and narrowing of the airway. Specialists in this field are in the best position to decide when a child should be operated on to improve its airway and ability to breathe. They also include the child's ability to hear normally, which is essential for the normal acquisition of language and speech and hence socialization of the child. Once again, these doctors are in the unique position correctly decide when and what surgery is needed to improve the ability of a child to hear.
The sub-specialty is the first of its kind in Hong Kong and has strengths in many areas, especially in liaising with other medical and surgical disciplines, and is responsible for delivering a coordinated and holistic approach to child health. A number of surgical procedures on the paediatric airway have been pioneered in Hong Kong. Research into otitis media in children has also earned the sub-specialty an international reputation.
Facial Plastic Surgery is both functional and aesthetic in nature. The restoration of the function of the face following trauma, sun-induce and other tumours and congenital asymmetry allows the patient to regain their quality of life. The restoration of the aesthetics of the face following trauma, sun-induce and other tumours and congenital asymmetry allows the patient to re-integrate into an often judgmental and ignorant society.
Functional and aesthetic outcomes usually complement each other and lead to an improvement in a patient's self-esteem and confidence. The surgery requires skill, experience and an understanding of the patient's wishes and expectations. Facial plastic surgery is a well recognized sub-specialty in the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery.
Over the past 5 years, there has been and increasing demand from patients for this service which we have striven to provide. The Department is now in the process of initiating the formation of an Asia-Pacific organisation of Facial-Plastic Surgery, which will lead Asia in this budding and important sub-specialty of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.
Audiology is a clinical science in areas of auditory and vestibular functions. It involves the assessment and rehabilitation of hearing, balance and related disorders in people from birth to old age. This includes the prevention, identification, and evaluation of hearing disorders, the selection and evaluation of hearing instrument/prosthesis, and the habilitation/rehabilitation of individuals with hearing and/or vestibular impairment.
The Audiology Centre at Prince of Wales Hospital, the University's teaching hospital, provides a comprehensive service to individuals of all ages, from infants to adults, who have problems with their hearing and/or balance. We perform a full range of diagnostic procedures including routine adult and paediatric hearing tests, immittance audiometry, otoacoustic emissions, electrocochleography, auditory brainstem response, auditory steady state response and cortical evoked response audiometry, along with videonystagmography and dynamic postural assessments. On the other hand, we also offer various rehabilitative services like evaluation and fitting of conventional hearing aid, assistive listening device, bone anchored hearing aid, middle ear implant, cochlear implant and auditory brainstem implant, as well as tinnitus and vestibular rehabilitation therapy.
The Division of Audiology provides training and supervision for audiology students and participates in the teaching of medical students, ENT nurses, ENT trainees and family medicine trainees. It is also a centre for academic exchange, where professionals of related fields from Mainland China and overseas countries would come for academic visit and seminars.
Audiology is a fast evolving discipline. Plenty of researches have been undertaken worldwide in the past decades in areas including, but are not limited to, electrophysiologic measurements of neural function, hearing conservation programs, auditory implants, vestibular rehabilitation therapy, tinnitus, speech perception, auditory processing, psychoacoustics, hearing aid design, and the psychosocial consequences of hearing loss. The Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery is a local leader in the field of auditory implants. It was the key research centre for cochlear implant in Asia Pacific region, and performed the first auditory brainstem implant and the first bone-anchored hearing aid implantation in irradiated nasopharyngeal cancer patient in Asia.
Speech Therapy is the study of disorders that affect a person's communication, language, speech, cognition, voice and swallowing abilities. The disorders often occur with surgeries of the head and neck, cerebral vascular accidents (stroke), brain tumors, head injuries and neuromuscular diseases.
This sub-specialty has a long track record as being the leader in research in dysphagia, voice disorders, hearing implantation and rehabilitation. The first ever validated assessment kit on Cantonese-speaking hearing impaired children, the Cantonese Basic Speech Perception Test, was developed and published by the former Division of Otorhinolaryngology. The sub-specialty has also been taking a leading role in running training workshops in Hong Kong and mainland China for front-line professionals in managing clients of communication and swallowing difficulties.