Head and Neck Microvascular Reconstruction

Our surgeons use sophisticated procedures to get rid of tumors in your head or neck. But we don't stop there. We deliver some of the most advanced cancer treatments, including microvascular reconstructive surgery.

This technique reduces the burden of major cancer surgery on your appearance and everyday life. Reconstruction allows many people to talk, smile and eat solid food again.

What Is Microvascular Head and Neck Reconstruction?

Microvascular reconstructive surgery is a technique for rebuilding structures in your face or neck after certain cancer treatments. These procedures restore a natural-looking appearance and improve functioning, such as your ability to swallow. We may rebuild your jaw, create a new windpipe or close a large surgical wound on your face.

Microvascular head and neck reconstruction includes:

  • Reconstruction: We transfer patches of bone, muscle or other tissue (free flaps) from healthy areas to your head or neck. Free flaps allow us to close spaces left after removing large tumors or rebuild head and neck structures.
  • Microvascular surgery: Using a surgical microscope, we connect tiny blood vessels in the free flap to the treatment area's arteries and veins.

Cancer Treatments That May Require Microvascular Reconstruction

We may perform microvascular reconstruction if radiation therapy permanently damages skin or bones in your head or neck.

We also use this technique to rebuild structures after major cancer surgery, including:

  • Glossectomy to remove cancer on your tongue
  • Laryngectomy to remove cancer affecting your voice box
  • Mandibulectomy to remove cancer in lower jaw
  • Maxillectomy to remove cancer affecting your upper jaw

Our Approach to Head and Neck Cancer Reconstruction

At Cedars-Sinai, you benefit from the expertise of multiple head and neck cancer experts. And we use the latest microsurgical technologies for precise movements that help you achieve the best possible results.

Our approach includes:

Highly Skilled Surgeons

Cedars-Sinai is home to head and neck cancer microvascular surgeons. Our team also includes plastic surgeons who specialize in reconstructing facial features, including the nose, lips and eyes. Our experience allows us to safely treat growths that were previously considered inoperable.

Coordinated Care

We often remove cancer and perform reconstruction in the same procedure. Our head and neck cancer surgeons carefully access and take out the tumor. Then our reconstructive team repairs the surgical area using the latest techniques. Our coordinated approach helps you get the most out of treatment. Meet our expert team.

Supportive Therapies

Microscopic reconstruction is part of an overall care plan to treat cancer and help you move forward with your life. We coordinate specialized therapies to help you adjust to changes that may occur after reconstruction. We treat problems such as dry mouth and difficulty swallowing with speech therapy and dental care for head and neck cancer.

Exceptional Nursing Care After Reconstructive Surgery

After reconstruction, most patients stay in the hospital for several days. You receive care from nurses with a reputation for low rates of complications and high patient satisfaction.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center has recognized Cedars-Sinai's commitment to nursing excellence with its prestigious Magnet® designation. We are the longest-running Magnet-designated hospital in California. Find out more about our Magnet designation.

Have Questions or Need Help?

To make an appointment or refer a patient, call or send a message to the Head and Neck Cancer care team. You can also have us call you back at your convenience.

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Pacific Time (U.S.)
Available 24 hours a day

(1-800-233-2771)