Centers & Services

Department of Otorhinolaryngology

What is Otorhinolaryngology?

The department provides diagnoses and treatments for disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and neck. To patients of all ages, from newborns to elderly people, it provides medical and surgical treatment and rehabilitation.

Our Physicians

Department of Otorhinolaryngology

Kazunori Nishizaki, Professor
[Ear disorder, hearing loss]


Shin Kariya Associate professor [Ear disorder, nasal and paranasal sinus diseases, cochlear implant]
Yorihisa Orita Lecturer [Head and neck tumor (thyroid tumor), ear disorder]
Yuko Kataoka Lecturer [Pediatric otorhinolaryngology, hearing loss, ear disorders]
Tomoo Onoda Assistant professor [Head and neck tumor]
Yukihide Maeda Assistant professor [Neuro-otology (dizziness, hearing loss)]
Akiko Sugaya Assistant professor [Pediatric otorhinolaryngology, hearing loss, ear disorders]
Yohei Noda Assistant professor [Head and neck tumor]
Takaya Higaki Assistant professor [Nasal and paranasal sinus diseases, allergy]

*Specialty shown in [ ]

Weekly schedule of outpatient physicians

Monday Tuseday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Outpatient physicians Only revisit outpatients with appointment Associate professorLecturer Professor Associate professor Only revisit outpatients with appointment Lecturer
Clinical sections available by day of the week morning Appointment outpatient Appointment examination (only revisit) General outpatient Paranasal sinus outpatient Gustation outpatient General outpatient Ear outpatient Head and neck tumor outpatient Hereditary hearing loss outpatient General outpatient Head and neck tumor outpatient
Afternoon     Allergy outpatient Hearing aid outpatient Speech hearing outpatient  

Treatment service

Outpatient services are provided on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Physicians specializing in ear, nose, head and neck diseases give diagnoses, aiming at providing highly specialized medical service.

Treatment policy

Treatment plans for inpatients are discussed among staff members in two conferences per week to examine the propriety. Those for outpatients are also discussed among specialists on an as-needed basis. Considering the needs and QOL of each patient and obtaining informed consent, we plan and administer appropriate treatment. Since the Head and Neck Cancer Center was established in April, 2012, it has provided care in cooperation with other departments concerned.


  • Ear disorders: surgery for middle ear disorders (tympanoplasty, conducted temporarily), instructions related to the use and care of a hearing aids for sensorineural hearing loss including infantile deafness, cochlear implant surgery, and diagnoses of, and drug therapy for, dizziness and facial nerve paralysis.
  • Head and neck surgery: it provides treatment for about 130 new patients with head and neck cancer per year. Surgery combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy is used to conserve function.
    Thyroid surgery: According to the kind of tumor, risk-group classification schemes, patients' performance status and patients' demand, the optimal therapeutric options are pursued.
  • Nose disorders: rapid hyposensitization therapy and surgery to allergic rhinitis, and endoscopically intranasal or paranasal sinus operation.
  • Vocal impairment: pharyngoplasty

Scope of Target diseases

  • Ear disorders: sudden hearing loss, Meniere’s disease, acute low-tone sensorineural hearing loss, infantile deafness, chronic middle ear infection, otosclerosis, auditory ossicle malformation, atresia of the ear canal, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular neuritis, and facial nerve palsy
  • Nose disorders: allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, deviated nasal septum, dysosmia (olfactory disturbance), nasal and paranasal sinus tumor, cyst
  • Head and neck disorders: tongue cancer, gum cancer, oral cancer, nasal cancer, maxillary cancer, pharynx cancer, larynx cancer, parotid cancer, submandibular gland cancer, thyroid cancer, and all head and neck benign tumors
  • Vocal impairment: recurrent nerve paralysis
  • Impaired swallowing

Service and specialized treatments

We provide medical care to respond to various diseases in the areas of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck surgery.

1. Ear disorder and hearing loss

Middle ear surgeries are performed to chronic middle ear infections and chronic otitis media with cholesteatoma. As for hearing loss and tinnitus, various detailed audiometric tests are conducted to identify the cause. Cochlear implant surgery and postoperative rehabilitation are provided for adventitious deafness. Fitting of a hearing aid is also provided for age-related healing loss.

2. Infantile hearing loss

For early detection of, and language training for, infantile hearing loss, we form an alliance with a facility for children with hearing loss, Okayama Canary Gakuen. Electroencepholographic hearing test and play audiometric test can be provided to newborns and infants. Cochlear implant surgery and postoperative language training are conducted on children with high-level hearing loss. Additionally, we identify the cause of hearing loss using a gene analysis system.

3. Neuro-otology

For people with hearing loss and/or hearing loss-related communication problems, we perform audiological assessment (pure tune audiometry, speech audiometry, uncomfortable loudness level for fitting appropriate hearing aids.
Detailed audiometric tests such as the speech audiometry test and fitting of hearing aid are conducted for patients with age-related hearing loss. For dizziness, detailed equilibrium testing and diagnostic imaging are conducted.

4. Hearing aids

For people with hearing loss and/or hearing loss-related communication problems, we perform audiological assessment (pure tune audiometry, speech audiometry, uncomfortable loudness level for fitting appropriate hearing aids.
Detailed audiometric tests such as speech audiometry test and fitting of a hearing aid are conducted for patients with age-related hearing loss.

5. Paranasal sinus diseases

Less-invasive surgeries with an endoscope are performed to paranasal sinus inflammation. In addition, detailed examination and treatment are provided for smell disorder.

6. Nasal allergy

As for allergic rhinitis, careful examination of antigen, allergen immunotherapy and daily life instruction are provided. For some patients for whom conservative medical management has no effect, surgery is performed.

7. Head and neck tumors

For ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery areas such as mouth cancer and larynx cancer, general treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy have been provided in cooperation with different departments such as plastic surgery, neurosurgery, digestive surgery, radiology, and oral surgery (reconstruction). Since April in 2012, when the Head and Neck Cancer Center was established in cooperation with other departments, treatment plans have been discussed in the cancer board, which includes interprofessional specialists (physicians of each department, speech therapists, physical therapists, nutritionists, nurses, and social welfare counselors) to provide more fulfilling treatments.
Okayama University Hospital Head and Neck Cancer Center HP:

8. Thyroid tumor outpatient

Diagnosis of thyroid nodules is mainly determined with ultrasonographic examination and fine-needle aspiration. Therapeutic options for the patients with thyroid nodules are basically determined according to the Japanese guidelines for thyroid nodules which have been established by the Japan Association of Endocrine Surgeons(JAES) in 2013.These documents are in accordance with evidence-based medicine and are supposed to enhance good communication between physicians and patients.

9. Diseases of the tonsils and throat

Detailed examinations are conducted of the focal infection, which results from chronic tonsillitis to damage of other organs including kidneys. Also, tonsillitis is performed if necessary. In addition, detailed examination and staphyloplasty are provided to patients with sleep apnea syndrome.

For outpatient visits

The clinic hours for first-visit patients are 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (outpatient days). Revisiting patients are assigned to general outpatient service, specialized outpatient service, and detailed examination according to each symptom and disease. The clinic hours for general outpatients on outpatient days are exclusive to the morning. The specialized outpatient service in the afternoon requires an appointment. When you use the specialized outpatient service, please make the next appointment after your examination is over.

Main methods used for testing and explanation

  • Audiometry: standard pure-tone audiometry, and when necessary, infantile audiometry and objective audiometry are provided to make more accurate measurements of hearing for patients ranging in age from infants to elderly people.
  • Electronystagmogram: eye movement examination for patients with dizziness.
  • Ultrasound examination: diagnoses of head and neck tumors and ultrasound-guided aspiration biopsy and/or cytology.
  • Olfactory test, nasal airflow test, and gustatory test

Main testing methods and medical equipment


In addition to standard pure-tone audiometry, the following hearing tests are performed: speech audiometry (examination of listening comprehension of words), self-recording audiometry, tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing, tinnitus examination, EEG audiometry, otoacoustic emission, and play audiometry for children. Furthermore, we have facilities that enable hearing aid fitting and language training for cochlear implant patients.

Language function and intelligence tests

Language function and intelligence tests are performed for those who worry about their delayed language.

Equilibrium function test

Detailed equilibrium function tests using electronystagmography and infrared ray Frenzel glasses (positioning nystagmus test, smooth eye movement test, opticokinetic nystagmus test, and caloric nystagmus test) are performed, in addition to stabilometry.

Nasal and paranasal sinus function tests

Detailed nasal function examination using a rhinomanometer and olfactory test using olfactomery are conducted.

Allergy evaluation

In addition to nasal secretion eosinophilic test and provocation tests, antigen tests such as scratch tests are performed.


Examination for sleep apnea is provided.

Ultrasound examination

Ultrasound examination is performed as one mode of diagnosis for tumors of parotid, submandibular gland, neck, lymph node, and thyroid. It is an extremely safe examination, not only to ascertain the position relation of the tumor to important nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and bones accurately but also to distinguish between benign and malignant tumors to some degree. If further detailed examination is required, ultrasound-guided biopsy/cyst aspiration is conducted.

Other tests

Gustatory function evaluation is also performed using electrogustometry.

Surgery equipment

Microscopic surgery for ears and vocal bands is conducted using operating microscopy and less-invasive paranasal sinus surgery using operating endoscopy. Lasers are used for surgery for ear, throat, and head diseases as well as nasal diseases such as nasal allergies and sinus inflammation.