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Christopher H. Rassekh, MD

Christopher H. Rassekh, MD Physician

Co-Chair, Hospital University of Pennsylvania Airway Safety Committee Director of Risk Reduction and Director of Professional Practice, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Director, Penn Medicine Sialendoscopy Program Professor of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery

Languages spoken:

  • French
  • Spanish

Dr. Rassekh is employed by Penn Medicine.

About Dr. Christopher H. Rassekh

Christopher H. Rassekh, MD is Professor of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Penn Medicine. He is the Director of the Penn Medicine Sialendoscopy Program, which provides evaluation of and minimally invasive surgery for diseases that cause swelling of the salivary glands including obstructive diseases such as salivary stones, salivary duct strictures and tumors. As a trusted member of the international salivary gland care community, he will serve as co-chair for the 5th International Salivary Gland Congress held at Penn Medicine in October of 2019. Dr. Rassekh sees patients with head and neck tumors including cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, salivary gland, thyroid and neck and also was a very early adopter of Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for tumors and salivary gland diseases, and is an expert in cranial base surgery. He also is co-chair of the Airway Safety Committee at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Rassekh has been very active in the national and international community including the American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology which awarded him the Distinguished service award in 2007. He has been on the board of directors of the North American Skull Base Society and served on numerous committees in that organization. He is currently on the Board for the Salivary Section of the American Head and Neck Society and has been on the program planning committee for all three of these organizations. He is a fellow of the Triological Society (aka Laryngological, Otological and Rhinological Society).

Recognized by America's Top Doctors, 2012 - 2018

Recognized by Best Doctors in America 2015 - 2018

Recognized in Philadelphia magazine's annual Top Docs issues for 2018 and 2019

Specializing in Head and Neck Cancer, tumors, salivary gland diseases, sialendoscopy, and all other aspects of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, especially diseases of the nose, throat and neck and skull base.

Patient Satisfaction Ratings

Patient Rating Breakdown

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

Comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Penn Medicine.

Overall Ratings

Clinical Specialties


  • Otorhinolaryngology

Programs & Centers:

Board Certification:

  • Otolaryngology, 1993

Clinical Expertise:

  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Allergies
  • Balance Disorders
  • Broken Nose (Nose Fracture)
  • Brow Lift
  • Burn Reconstruction
  • Chemical Peel
  • Cough
  • Dermal Fillers
  • Deviated Septum
  • Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)
  • DiGeorge Syndrome
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
  • Ear and Temporal Bone Tumors
  • Ear Infection - Middle Ear (Otitis Media)
  • Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
  • Face Lift Surgery (Rhytidectomy)
  • Facial Deformities
  • Facial Implants
  • Facial Nerve Disorders
  • Facial Vein
  • forehead lift
  • Forehead Nodule
  • Frostbite of Ear
  • Frostbite of Face
  • Frostbite of Nose
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Goiter
  • Head and Neck Tumor Reconstruction
  • Hearing Loss
  • Hoarseness
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Inverted Papilloma
  • Jaw Disorders
  • Keloid Scar
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Mastoiditis
  • Meniere's Disease
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Microsurgery
  • Mouth Infections
  • Nasal Cancer
  • Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Neck Lift
  • Nose Bleed
  • Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Oral Pain
  • Oropharyngeal Disorders
  • Perforated Eardrum
  • Salivary Gland Disorders
  • Sinonasal Mucocele
  • Sinus Disorders
  • Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Smell Disorders
  • Swallowing Disorders
  • Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Throat Disorders
  • Thyroid Nodules
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Tinnitus
  • Tonsil Removal Surgery (Tonsillectomy)
  • Tonsillitis (Tonsil Inflammation)
  • Vertigo
  • Vocal Cord Lesion
  • Voice Disorders
View More

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

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

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 Head and Neck Society, National American Medical Association, National North American Skull Base Society, International North American Skull Base Society, National Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Local Triological Society, National

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Rassekh is employed by Penn Medicine.

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:

Gomez ED, Thaler ER, O'Malley BW, Jr., Rassekh CH, Weinstein GS, Newman JG, Brody RM: Techniques for developing and viewing stereoscopic three-dimensional teaching videos for transoral robotic surgery (TORS) J Robot Surg. 2019 Apr 3. doi: 10.1007/s11701-019-00952-z. [Epub ahead of print] : 2019.

Henry LE, Haugen TW, Rassekh CH, Adappa ND, Weinstein GS, O'Malley BW, Jr.: A novel transpalatal-transoral robotic surgery approach to clival chordomas extending into the nasopharynx Head Neck 2019 Apr 10. doi: 10.1002/hed.25747. [Epub ahead of print] : 2019.

Iocca O, Farcomeni A, De Virgilio A, Di Maio P, Golusinski P, Malvezzi L, Pellini R, Golusinski W, Rassekh CH, Spriano G.: Prognostic significance of lymph node yield and lymph node ratio in patients affected by squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and oropharynx: Study protocol for a prospective, multicenter, observational study. Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2019 Jan 14;14:100324. doi: 10.1016/j.conctc.2019.100324. eCollection 2019 Jun. : 2019.

Douglas JE, Thomas WW, Kejner SE, Rassekh CH: Sialendoscopy for definitive management of a submandibular abscess following radiotherapy for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma ORL 80 (5-6): 2018.

Stubbs, VC, Rajasekarne K, Gigliotti AR, Mahmoud AF, Brody RM, Newman JG, Rassekh CH, Weinstein GS: Management of the Airway for Transoral Robotic Supraglottic Partial Laryngectomy Front Oncol 8 (312): 2018.

Workman AD, Brody RM, Kuan EC, Baranov E, Brooks SG, Alonso-Basanta M, Newman JG, Rassekh CH, Chalian AA, Chiu AG, Weinstein GS, Feldman MD, Adappa ND, O'Malley BW Jr, Palmer JN.: Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma: A 15-year Single Institution Experience J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2019 Feb;80(1):88-95. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1668537. Epub 2018 Aug 16 : 2018.

Mantravadi, AV, Moore, MG, Rassekh, CH: AHNS Series-Do you know your guidelines: Diagnosis and management of Salivary Gland Tumors Head and Neck 41 (2): 269-280,2018.

Hatten KM, Brody RM, Weinstein GS, Newman JG, Bur AM, Chalian AA, OʼMalley BW Jr, Rassekh CH, Cannady SB.: Defining the Role of Free Flaps for Transoral Robotic Surgery. Ann Plast Surg. 80 (1): 45-49,2018.

Rassekh CH, Haughey, B: Total Laryngectomy and Laryngopharyngectomy Cummings Textbook Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 7th ed. : 2018.

Rassekh CH: Robotic Approaches with Interventional Sialendoscopy Surgery of the Salivary Glands (book) : 2018.

Academic Contact Info

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
University of Pennsylvania

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