Head and Neck Surgery is comprised of five sections, which provide focused centers of excellence for the treatment of patients and the development of research.
Head and Neck Surgery section
The Head and Neck Surgical Oncology section is the overarching section of the department, providing the most current treatments for patients with cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, sinus, salivary glands, ear and temporal bone, skull base, melanomas, nonmelanomas and sarcomas of the soft tissue and bone. The section is led by Head and Neck Surgery Chair Jeffrey N. Myers, M.D., Ph.D.
Head and Neck Endocrine Surgery section
The Head and Neck Endocrine Surgery section has extensive experience with surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, including benign thyroid conditions requiring surgery as well as both common and rare thyroid malignancies. Patients benefit from the expertise of our surgeons in a unique high-volume surgical practice in advanced and recurrent thyroid cancers, which provides state-of-the-art surgical techniques and treatments that are individually tailored for the optimal outcome. Faculty in The Head and Neck Endocrine Surgery section also lead a robust research program, where discoveries in the laboratory help to advance the therapies available for our patients.
The section is led by Mark Zafereo, M.D., a prolific surgeon-scientist, who is world-renowned for his expertise in thyroid cancers. Patients are seen in the Head and Neck Center and MD Anderson’s Endocrine Center, one of the nation’s few comprehensive centers dedicated entirely to the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine diseases.
Oral Oncology & Maxillofacial Prosthodontics section
The Oral Oncology and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics section provides comprehensive oral/dental assessment for all oncology patients at MD Anderson who require dental treatment or prophylaxis prior to radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
The dental faculty are part of the head and neck cancer team and is recognized nationally and internationally for providing oral/dental care for patients undergoing radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or surgery for head and neck cancer. Additionally, the section specializes in designing and placing dental implants used in the rehabilitation of complicated intraoral and facial defects.
The section is composed of seven clinical faculty members who support an American Dental Associate accredited maxillofacial prosthetic training program that provides fellowship training for qualified prosthodontists. In addition, residents from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston rotate to MD Anderson for specialty training.
The section’s ongoing clinical and laboratory research contributes to the development of the most innovative techniques and materials used in prosthesis fabrication. The hallmark of this section is its collaboration with Head and Neck Surgery, Speech Pathology and Audiology, and Plastic Surgery, to ensure the highest quality of life after cancer treatment. The section is led by Mark Chambers, D.M.D., who is also vice-chair of research compliance regulatory affairs for Head and Neck Surgery.
Physicians in the Ophthalmology section are committed to the treatment of patients with ocular, orbital, and ocular adnexal malignancies. They provide comprehensive ophthalmic and neuro-ophthalmic care for patients with cancer, as well as the ocular complications from cancer therapy.
The team consists of an ocular oncologic surgeon, an oculoplastic surgeon, and a cornea/anterior segment and an external disease surgeon. Patient care is provided in the Ophthalmology Clinic at the MD Anderson main campus. The team is led by ocular oncologist Dan S. Gombos, M.D., who is also clinical co-director of The Retinoblastoma Center of Houston, a collaborative between other Texas Medical Center hospitals.
Speech Pathology and Audiology section
The Speech Pathology and Audiology section provides patient evaluations, functional analyses of speech and swallowing, and audiologic evaluation. This section has special expertise in alaryngeal voice restoration after total laryngectomy, speech and swallowing rehabilitation after cancer treatment as well as ototoxicity monitoring and hearing rehabilitation in oncology.
In addition to the care of head and neck cancer patients, the oncology specialized clinical staff offer rehabilitation of cognitive-communication disorders for patients with neurogenic diseases and brain tumors, and intervention for patients with lymphedema and myofascial dysfunction. The section staffs the Voice Center to provide unique diagnostic and therapeutic intervention for patients with vocal pathology following cancer treatment.
All services are provided in the Head and Neck Center. The section is led by Katherine A. Hutcheson, Ph.D., an international authority on swallowing functions in patients with head and neck cancer. The section includes a robust research component, which includes Hutcheson’s Clinical Research Laboratory that studies innovative techniques and procedures to improve the functional outcomes after cancer treatment. The section’s Oncologic Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinical Research Education and Training (ONSET) Program offers unique clinical research training opportunities.