16 doctors weighed in:

Since surgery is a frequently used in treating head and neck cancers, is there a risk of disfigurement?

16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
6 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Dr. Louis Gallia
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Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin
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Dr. Hassan Arshad
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Hassan Arshad
Dr. Hassan Arshad
Thank
Dr. Charles Breaux
Surgery - Pediatric
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Charles Breaux
Dr. Charles Breaux
Thank
Dr. Ritesh Rathore
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Ritesh Rathore
Dr. Ritesh Rathore
Thank
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