Head & Neck Surgery is a sub-speciality of cancer surgery that deals with the surgical management of cancer of the head & neck as well as other related tumors and conditions occurring in the region.
Some of the common conditions which are managed by the Head & Neck Surgeon are:
- Oral (mouth and tongue) cancer, tumors affecting the jaw
- Cancer of the throat (larynx and pharynx)
- Lumps affecting the thyroid gland and thyroid cancer
- Salivary gland (Parotid and submandibular gland) tumors
- Sinus cancer (maxillary, ethmoid etc) and tumors affecting the skull base
- Neck swellings (TB, lymphomas and other lymph nodal swellings and sarcomas)
- Orbital tumors
- Any other tumors and related conditions occurring in the Head & Neck region
Head & Neck cancers:
These cancers are generally referred to as life-style related cancers as they are due to certain habits and practices. Cancers of the mouth and throat (upper aero-digestive tract) are primarily caused by the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco and other related products and by excessive alcohol consumption. India has one of the highest incidence of Head & Neck cancer in the world (one-third of all cancers) due to the indiscriminate use of chewing tobacco in different forms.
The department offers to screen for people addicted to tobacco as well as counselling and guidance to kick the habit.
Warning signals of Head & Neck cancer:
- A sore or ulcer in the tongue or mouth that does not heal within three weeks
- Persisting bleeding from the gums or mouth
- Nasal obstruction associated with bleeding from the nostril
- Change in voice and/or difficulty in swallowing beyond three weeks
- A painless lump in the thyroid or elsewhere in the neck
- A wart or mole which increases in size or changes in colour or starts bleeding
If any of these symptoms are present it is important to immediately see a doctor to rule out cancer.
Common surgeries performed:
- Composite resection for oral cancer
- Total and partial laryngectomy with voice restoration using the latest voice prosthesis
- Surgery of the thyroid, including Robotic thyroidectomy
- Minimal access Parathyroid surgery using intra-op PTH estimation
- Parotid and other salivary gland surgery
- Laser surgery for cancer of the larynx
- Skull base surgery for sinus and other advanced cancers and parapharyngeal tumors
- Reconstructive surgery of the Head & Neck including micro-vascular free flap technique
- Trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS) for tumors of the oro-pharynx
- Vascular tumors of the neck (carotid body tumors etc.)
- Surgery and reconstruction for skin cancers
The department runs a very successful Laryngectomee Society for the rehabilitation of throat cancer survivors.
The Head & Neck Team at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad
Dr. Shobana Sekhar MDS, Fellowship in Head & Neck surgery
Junior Consultant (Head & Neck and Maxillo-facial surgery)
Shriram Ramamurthy M.S.,CCC-SLP (Speech pathology)
Speech and swallowing specialist
The Department offers a Fellowship program for the training of surgeons interested in a career in Head & Neck Surgery