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Head and Neck Surgical Oncology


The Department of Head and Neck Surgery

Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

The UCLA Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Program offers comprehensive, specialized care for patients with benign and malignant tumors located between the brain and the clavicle, anterior to the spine, including tumors of the pharynx, larynx, jaw and tongue, as well as tumors of the thyroid and parathyroid glands and carotid arteries.

The Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Program has maintained a national reputation throughout the 25+ years since its inception, particularly in the areas of partial laryngeal surgery and mandible-sparing procedures for oral cavity tumors. Head and Neck Surgery Oncology team members offer interdisciplinary specialization in head and neck oncology, reconstructive surgery and laser surgery as well laryngeal physiology and speech therapy. Neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, maxillofacial experts, and radiation oncologists are incorporated into care as indicated.

Patient Care
Patients referred to the program usually have prima facie evidence of a tumor, either through biopsy or X-ray. The initial consultation involves a complete evaluation by a head and neck surgeon, including additional diagnostic procedures such as fine-needle aspiration, open biopsies, CT scans, and MRI studies. Many patients are geographically distant from UCLA and special arrangements are often made to optimize the patient's time at UCLA. Program staff provide consultative services, as well as consultation and treatment, depending on the nature of the referral and the preferences of the referring physician and patient. Referring physicians receive detailed written reports on clinical findings and treatment recommendations.

Treatments include radiation alone for early lesions, minimally invasive surgery where appropriate, a combination of surgery and radiation and, in some cases, chemotherapy. Clinical trials for chemotherapeutic agents and emerging surgical techniques are available to appropriate patients.

The program specializes in complex anatomical and functional problems, and excels in reconstructive rehabilitation of patients with functional and cosmetic defects resulting from ablative surgery. Microvascular free flaps and osseointegrated implants are routinely utilized, along with prostheses, to restore patients' ability to swallow, speak and chew normally, and to maintain normal appearance. Post-operative care is closely coordinated with the referring physician and geared toward monitoring the patient for tumor recurrences.

For more information, please visit the Head and Neck Surgical Oncology page on the Department of Head and Neck Surgery website.

Telephone Number
(310) 206-6688 Appointment, information and referral

Director Specialty
Abemayor, Elliot MD, PhD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck

Berke, Gerald MD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Blackwell, Keith MD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Gopen, Quinton MD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Kedeshian, Paul MD General Surgery; Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Mendelsohn, Avraham MD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Nabili, Vishad MD General Surgery; Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Sercarz, Joel MD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
St. John, Maie MD, PhD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Suh, Jeffrey MD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck
Wang, Marilene Beth MD Otolaryngology / Head & Neck