Given the critical location in the head, neck, or mouth, head and neck cancers can affect important bodily functions such as swallowing, ability to eat and chew, and speech. Our goal with surgery is to treat these tumors while preserving these important functions and restoring our patients’ quality of life. Removal of these tumors may also involve removal of the lymph nodes of the neck (also known as neck dissection)—a common location for head and neck cancers to spread. Our practice typically completes both the tumor removal and the facial reconstruction during the same procedure. Through the use of microvascular reconstruction, or “free flap” surgery, we are able to restore physical appearance as well as the function of the affected area. By completing these procedures simultaneously, our patients are able to leave the operating room with a completed cancer surgery and as well as an optimal facial reconstruction.
We are very experienced in the use of the da Vinci surgical robot. Through the use of robotic surgery, we are able to remove cancers from the mouth and oropharynx through the open mouth, without an external incision. This tumor removal procedure can also eliminate or significantly decrease the need for post-operative radiation.
We employ advanced methods to reconstruct major defects of the head and neck with unsurpassed accuracy through the use of computer planning. By using a patient’s own imaging data from CT scans or MRIs, we’re able to perform their surgery through the virtual environment of the computer. We’re also able to have custom models and custom implants fabricated to allow us to transfer that plan directly to the patient. The data from the virtual surgery is then sent out to a modeling company which 3-D prints patient specific models, patient specific cutting guides, and even implants. We’re able to use these prints in surgery to execute the most accurate and precise reconstruction. Our surgeons have been instrumental in developing this technology and computer planning remains our standard of care—we use this technique in operations that involve reconstruction of the facial bones.
In addition to being medical doctors, our surgeons are also dentists. Having this dual viewpoint is particularly helpful when planning and performing a dental reconstruction procedure. Our experience and extensive training as both dentists and surgeons helps ensure that the design of your particular surgery, as well as the accuracy of the reconstruction, is of the highest quality.
We offer specialized, comprehensive care for patients with benign (non-cancerous) cysts and tumors of the head and neck. Our surgeons are highly trained in the removal of benign tumors located between the brain and the clavicle, anterior to the spine, tumors of the mouth, face, jaw, tongue, throat, voice box, thyroid gland, as well as tumors at the skull base.