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Christopher H. Rassekh, MD

Christopher H. Rassekh, MD Physician

Associate Professor of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery

Languages spoken:

  • French
  • Spanish

Dr. Rassekh is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

About Dr. Christopher H. Rassekh

Recognized by America's Top Doctors, 2012-14

Clinical Specialties

Clinical Expertise:

  • Cancer Clinical Trials
  • Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
  • Cancer Surgery
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leak
  • Cranial Base Tumors
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Glomus Tumors (Glomangioma)
  • Head and Neck Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery
  • Head and Neck Surgery
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Melanoma Lymph Node Mapping
  • Mouth Cancer (Oral Cancer)
  • Salivary Gland Cancer
  • Salivary Gland Disorders
  • Throat Cancer

Description of Clinical Expertise

Head and Neck Oncology
Cranial Base Surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Organ Preservation Surgery
Neck Dissection
Salivary Gland Surgery
Difficult Airway Management
Palliative Care for Head and Neck Cancer
Endocrine Surgery (thyroid and parathyroid)

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • CVS Health
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthPartners Medicare
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Health Care/LGH
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Remedy Partners at Penn Medicine
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: University of Iowa College of Medicine
Fellowship: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Residency: Spectrum Health Hospital (Butterworth Campus)
Residency: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Fellowship: UPMC Presbyterian


American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, National American Board of Otolaryngology, National American College of Surgeons, National American Head and Neck Society, National American Medical Association, National North American Skull Base Society, National Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Local

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Rassekh is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Pennsylvania Hospital: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Description of Research Expertise:

Research Experience:

Small Animal Model Research
Cadaveric Surgical Research
Basic Immunology Techniques for Translational Research
Interpreting Basic Science for Translational Research
Basic Outcomes Data Research/ Quality of Life Studies
Clinical Research on Surgical Innovation
(especially minimally invasive salivary gland surgery, organ preservation surgery, minimally invasive cranial base and pharyngeal/laryngeal surgery)
Clinical Research on Imaging

Current Research Projects:

Sialendoscopy database and Hybrid Approaches to Submandibular Gland Surgery
Level I neck dissection
Radiographically Enhanced Clinical Airway Tool (REACT)
Surgical Managemet and Clinical Approaches to Parapharyngeal Space Tumors
Cartilaginous and Osseous Tumors (Chondrosarcoma, Chordoma and Osteosarcoma)
Endoscopic (Robotic) and Open Organ Preservation Surgery Analysis
HPV-related Oropharyngeal Cancer

Selected Publications:

Rassekh CH, Kazahaya K, Livolsi VA, Loevner LA, Cowan AT, Weinstein GS: "Transoral Robotic Surgery-Assisted Excision of a Congenital Cervical Salivary Duct Fistula Presenting as a Branchial Cleft Fistula" Head & Neck 38 (2): 49-53,2016.

Thaler ER, Rassekh CH, Lee JM, Weinstein GS, O'Malley BW Jr.: "Outcomes for Multilevel Surgery for Sleep Apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Transoral Robotic Surgery, and Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty" The Laryngoscope 126 (1): 266-9,2016.

Kaczmar JM, Tan KS, Heitjan DF, Lin A, Ahn PH, Newman JG, Rassekh CH, Chalian AA, O'Malley BW, Cohen RB, Weinstein GS: "HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancer: Risk Factors for Treatment Failure in Patients Managed with Primary Transoral Robotic Surgery" Head & Neck 38 (1): 59-65,2016.

Kovatch KJ, Purkey MT, Martinez-Lage M, Gausas RE, Loevner LA, Grady MS, O'Malley BW, Rassekh CH: "Management of an Expansile Orbital Mass: Plexiform Neurofibroma Decompression by Orbitozygomatic Approach" The Laryngoscope 125 (11): 2457-60,2015.

Rassekh CH, Zhao J, Martin ND, Chalian AA, Atkins JH: "Tracheostomy Complications as a Trigger for an Airway Rapid Response: Analysis and Quality Improvement Considerations" Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery : 2015.

Rassekh CH, Marchal F, O'Malley BW, Jr., Weinstein GS: Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Parapharyngeal Approach for Submandibular Gland Excision in a Cadaver Model American Head and Neck Society Translational Research Meeting, Boston, MA : 2015.

Rassekh CH, Cost JL, Hogg JP, Hurst MK, Marano GD, Ducatman BS: "Positron Emission Tomography in Warthin's Tumor Mimicking Malignancy Impacts the Evaluation of Head and Neck Patients" American Journal of Otolaryngology 36 (2): 259-63,2015.

Rassekh CH, Haughey BH: Total Laryngectomy and Laryngopharyngectomy Cummings Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 6th edition 6 : Chapter 110,2015.

Chao TN, Rassekh CH, Loevner LA, Cannady SB, Livolsi VA: "Giant Parotid Carcinosarcoma (True Malignant Mixed Tumor) Arising in a Pleomorphic Adenoma: Preservation of the Facial Nerve by Retrograde Dissection and Free Flap Reconstruction" Journal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base : 86-87,2015.

Rassekh CH, Weinstein GS, Loevner LA, Chalian AA, O’Malley BW: "Outcomes of Transoral Robotic Surgery for Parapharyngeal Space Salivary Gland Neoplasms" Journal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base : 59-60,2015.

Academic Contact Info

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)