A 21-year-old member asked:
since surgery is a frequently used in treating head and neck cancers, is there a risk of disfigurement?
5 doctor answers
Dr. Ritesh Rathore answered
29 years experience Hematology and Oncology
Yes: Unfortunately certain surgeries such as neck dissection, lip surgery, etc. Carry the risk of disfigurement. Discussing planned surgery with your surgeon and reconstructive options such as plastic surgery consultation is important. Certain surgeries can be avoided and treatment with combined chemotherapy & radiotherapy can be done instead.
Answered on Apr 12, 2015
Dr. Charles Breaux answered
38 years experience Pediatric Surgery
Yes: You want to have an experienced surgeon who's "been there" many times before and can do the best job balancing doing a good cancer operation to rid you of disease with the least amount of collateral damage or disfigurement. In addition, a plastic surgeon sometimes participates in cases for expert reconstruction after a big cancer operation. Discuss this thoroughly with your head and neck surgeon.
Answered on Oct 24, 2017
Dr. Hassan Arshad answered
15 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
Depends on surgery : The risk for disfigurement depends on the extent of the surgery. With modern advances in head and neck reconstruction, we have very good methods to fix the defect that the cancer removal causes. Non-surgical treatment options, while avoiding the risks of surgery, carry their own set of complications. Your head and neck surgeon should be able to help you with the various options.
Answered on Apr 12, 2015
Dr. Louis Gallia answered
44 years experience Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Yes: Yes, significant risk, depending on the area of the cancer. The best way to treat these cancers would be at a major medical center, where cancer resection and reconstruction can often be done during the same procedure. In your area - Stanford Medical Center.
Answered on Nov 28, 2017
Dr. Paul Grin answered
35 years experience Pain Management
Unfortunately, yes: It is important that all cancerous tissue be removed to prevent recurrence, thus the removal of tumors can result in cosmetic (disfigurement) and functional (speech, swallowing and chewing) problems for patients.
Answered on Apr 13, 2015
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