Head and neck surgery includes surgical procedures to diagnose and treat head and neck cancers, thyroid nodules, malignant (cancerous) thyroid conditions and salivary gland diseases.
Surgeons will work together with other disciplines including dental surgery, otolaryngology (ears, nose and throat), neurosurgery (brain surgery), reconstructive and therapeutic surgery and radiotherapy.
This multidisciplinary participation is important for the treatment and management of head and neck cancers. The tumours have to be entirely removed, followed by reconstructive surgery to repair the shape and function of the affected organ, as well as therapy for speech, swallowing and breathing. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy might also be needed following the surgery. Some common procedures include:
- Surgical oncology such as laryngectomy (removal of the larynx), and tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils)
- Minimally invasive techniques for thyroidectomy, skull-base surgery (tumour removal) and endoscopic sinus surgery