Head and Neck Cancer Surgery
It's natural to be anxious about how head and neck cancer surgery may affect your future. Cedars-Sinai doctors are giving more patients hope for healing. We successfully get rid of cancer using surgical techniques that are minimally invasive and better able to preserve form and function. These techniques lower your risk of complications.
Our Approach to Head and Neck Cancer Surgery
Cedars-Sinai surgeons treat a high number of head and neck cancer patients every year. This level of experience leads to safer care even during complex procedures. We tailor treatment plans so that you receive the services that are best for your unique needs.
Our approach includes:
You have access to renowned surgeons, many of whom are at the top of their field. All of our surgeons completed training through fellowships in advanced head and neck surgery techniques. And when new technologies become available, we are quick to adopt them. Meet our expert team.
We offer a broad range of services to help you achieve recovery goals after surgery. Our services include specialized swallow therapy that helps many people avoid a permanent feeding tube. Find out more about speech therapy and dental care for head and neck cancer.
Minimally Invasive Surgery Options for Head and Neck Cancer
Many patients have minimally invasive surgery, which uses small incisions and sophisticated technologies. Most of these procedures are only available at leading head and neck cancer programs, such as the one at Cedars-Sinai.
With minimally invasive surgery, you can expect a shorter recovery and fewer complications. You may also be able to avoid additional cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy.
Minimally invasive surgeries we offer include:
You may need reconstruction after surgery to remove a large tumor, or if there's tissue damage following radiation therapy. We transfer tissue, muscle and skin from other areas of your body to rebuild structures such as the roof of your mouth. We may also perform reconstruction to lessen the impact of cancer on your appearance.
Our experts connect blood vessels of the new tissues to those of your head and neck using a surgical microscope.
We remove these cancers during a complex procedure known as a parotidectomy. We often access the tumor through an incision in the crease of your ear near the hairline. This approach helps you avoid a large incision from your ear to your lower neck. The facelift approach is highly specialized and requires the expertise of surgeons, such as the ones at Cedars-Sinai, who perform it often.
We use nerve monitoring during surgery to help us navigate past delicate tissue near the tumor. After surgery, you can expect a small scar that's barely noticeable once the incision heals.
Tumors deep in the throat (larynx) are difficult to reach and offer little room for navigating some minimally invasive surgical instruments. We use a device with laser technology at the tip to safely access and remove these tumors. We apply laser beams directly to the tumor to destroy cancer cells. A microscope helps us view the surgical area in vivid detail.
Cedars-Sinai has experts specializing in laryngeal surgery, allowing us to safely remove large tumors using this technique.
We use robotic surgical technology to remove cancer at the back of the throat or base of the tongue. We slide instruments down your throat. Doctors then use robotic surgical technology to control instruments, offering greater precision than other surgical techniques.
We are also among the first programs in the country using newly approved robotic technology with slimmer instruments. These instruments cause less disruption to healthy tissue.