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Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Treatments and Services

At the Penn Center for Head and Neck Cancer, individuals are treated by a multi-disciplined team consisting of endocrinologists, radiation and surgical oncologists, dentists and maxillofacial physicians, and integrative medicine specialists.

The trained specialists at the Penn Center for Head and Neck Cancer utilize state-of-the-art surgical techniques for treating cancer, many of which were not available twenty five years ago, to help patients choose between modern surgical and non-surgical approaches.

Performing Leading-Edge Surgical and Non-surgical Techniques

Our head and neck surgeons utilize the most advanced surgical techniques for treating cancer – many pioneered at Penn – to help patients choose between modern surgical and non-surgical approaches

Penn established the world's first TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) program. TORS is a minimally invasive, robotically-assisted, surgical approach to removing benign and malignant tumors of the mouth, throat and voice box. Using this approach, tumors can be completely removed while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key functions that help maintain the highest quality of life possible.

Treatment options offered at Penn include:

  • Brachytherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery
  • Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Image-guided computer-assisted surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Cranial base surgery
  • Speech therapy
  • TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS)
  • CyberKnife®
  • Gamma Knife®
  • Thyroidectomy

Head and neck cancers and their treatment often affect swallowing, speech, hearing and quality of life. The Penn Center for Head and Neck Cancer is dedicated to helping patients meet these challenges. Our services include a state-of-the-art swallowing function laboratory; as well as specialized experts to help patients regain the ability to speak after treatment for cancer of the voice box and throat.

  • In select cases, patients can be treated with advanced treatments, like microvascular free flap reconstruction.
  • After surgery and/or radiation of the mouth and teeth, Penn's dental team helps manage and rehabilitate patients.
  • For patients in need of speech and swallowing rehabilitation, a speech pathology team is in place to work with individuals following their head and neck cancer treatment.