Head and Neck Surgery
Head and neck surgery at Swedish provides comprehensive and state-of-the-art medical and surgical treatment for patients with head and neck cancer. This includes cancer that originates within the structures of the head and neck, including the lips, oral cavity, sinus-nasal cavities, pharynx, larynx, lymph nodes of the neck, salivary glands, thyroid and parathyroid glands, and the skin of the head and neck region.
Our multidisciplinary team works closely with other physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, physical therapists, speech pathologists and naturopathic physicians to provide a comprehensive care experience, completed by an integrated approach to care, leading-edge imaging and diagnostic techniques, treatment options and a wide selection of quality support services.
Latest diagnostic modalities to diagnose and map cancers in the head and neck region include CT/PET, MRI and endoscopic examinations. We also provide in-office ultrasound for patient convenience and on-site biopsy.
If you have cancer in your larynx, otherwise known as the “voicebox,” you may need a laryngectomy, a surgical procedure which removes the larynx. Depending on the stage of your cancer, you may be a good candidate for a partial laryngectomy, which entails removing only part of the larynx. If your cancer is advanced, your best option for treatment may be a total laryngectomy. We aim to preserve speech and swallow function so that you can learn to talk and eat again after your surgery.
Surgeons use specialized endoscopic instruments through to pinpoint tumors. Using a variety of lasers, they carve out the cancer while preserving surrounding normal tissue. With this approach, patients recover faster, often swallowing and speaking on the first day after surgery.
Our head and neck surgeons utilize specialized high-definition endoscopes to access the thyroid and parathyroid gland through tiny incisions. Most patients are able to go home the day of surgery with minimal post-operative pain.
Surgically treating a patient with cancer of the tongue and jaw often means removing the entire tongue and jaw. Surgeons are able to reconstruct the tongue and jaw bone by transferring tissue from another part of the body (an autograft). Tissue may be taken from the fibula (leg bone), or the skin of the thigh or forearm to reconstruct both the jaw bone and tongue. Microvascular surgery allows us to restore functional and cosmetic loss by supplying blood and nutrients that reconnect to vessels in the neck. Microvascular reconstructive techniques have greatly improved the outcome of the cosmetic and functional (speaking, swallowing and breathing) of head and neck cancer patients. It has also allowed surgeons to operate on patients who previously were considered inoperable.
Cancers of the mouth and throat can also be accessed through the mouth using the DaVinci® robotic surgery system. This technique allows our surgeons to offer another option to otherwise inoperable cancers. Patients undergoing Trans Oral Surgery (TORS) for select mouth and throat cancers can return to normal swallow and breathing very rapidly, sometimes within 48 hours after surgery.
Providers Specializing in Head and Neck Surgery
At Swedish, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.