Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

Taking Care of You: Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

Vanderbilt Head and Neck Surgical Oncology combine the expertise of our highly trained surgeons with the comprehensive cancer care team at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Our multispecialty team of otolaryngologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists work together to offer patients compassionate, cutting-edge head and neck cancer care. The Vanderbilt Head and Neck Surgery team also offer patients surgical options for head and neck conditions and vocal paralysis that were pioneered in Vanderbilt's robust research labs.

Patient Care Excellence

The Vanderbilt Head and Neck Surgery team is internationally recognized for innovative treatment options for rare diseases, such as paranasal sinus cancer, microvascular reconstruction of the head and neck, and a novel surgical approach to Zenker's diverticulum. Vanderbilt is one of few medical centers in the country that performs a complex surgery to remove rare vagal schwannomas tumors yet preserve nerve function in the head and neck.

Our team provides access to a variety of clinical trials for head and neck cancer at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Vanderbilt-Ingram is designated as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our team is committed to continually exploring new and innovative treatments.

Vanderbilt Head and Neck Surgery also offers a highly sought after clinical fellowship. Our fellows receive experience with rare tumors of the head and neck, general head and neck surgery, reconstructive surgery, and more.

Conditions We Treat

  • All types of head and neck cancer, including:
    • Hypopharyngeal Cancer
    • Laryngeal Cancer
    • Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer
    • Metastatic Squamous Neck Cancer with Occult Primary
    • Nasopharyngeal Cancer
    • Oropharyngeal Cancer
    • Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer
    • Salivary Gland Cancer
  • Temporal bone and skull base tumors
  • Sinus tumors

Tests, Treatments and Services

  • Endoscopic laryngeal surgery
  • Endoscopic Zenker's diverticulectomy
  • Lateral skull base surgery
  • Microvascular reconstruction
  • Minimally invasive parathyroid surgery
  • Minimally invasive parotid surgery
  • Robotic thyroid surgery
  • Robotic transoral surgery
  • Transoral submandibular gland resection
  • Tracheal resection
  • Tumor resection

Innovations, Awards, and Technology

The Vanderbilt Head and Neck Surgical Oncology team is committed to making a difference in the world. Our commitment to global health outreach takes our team on medical mission trips to countries like Haiti, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. Learn more about Vanderbilt Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery's commitment to global outreach and our initiative to train local community physicians during our medical mission trips.

To speak to a tumor coordinator, get a second opinion, or refer a patient ot the Vanderbilt Head and Neck Center, please call (615) 875-1193.

Selected Publications

Vanderbilt publications

Bringing Ultrasound Training to Surgeons in Kenya (Discover May 13, 2020)

A nine-day program to train head and neck surgeons in Kenya with no prior hands-on experience using ultrasound (US) was effective in conveying clinically valuable skills and knowledge, according to a recent study conducted by faculty and residents from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. To continue reading...

Surgical Aid Detects Parathyroid Tissue in Real-Time (Discover February 18, 2020)

A device designed to prevent accidental removal of parathyroid glands during surgery is gaining traction. PTeye – which employs a handheld probe – leverages tissue fluorescence to help distinguish parathyroid tissue. To continue reading...

Radial Bone Free Flap For Expanded Oral Cavity Applications (Discover July 18, 2019)

For patients who have locally invasive oral cancer with bony and mucosal defects, surgical options are generally very good. With a well-executed resection and free flap reconstructive procedure, there are excellent survival rates and recovery of jaw function.  To continue reading...

Surgical Transparency: Finding the Balance (Discover June 6, 2019)

new era of surgical transparency is emerging, fueled largely by the advent of video recording for quality improvement and the expansion of endoscopic, camera-driven procedures. To continue reading...

Digital Community Forms Around Nerve-sparing Schwannoma Procedure (Discover April 25, 2019)

With an incidence of just 1.2 in 100,000, vagal schwannomas have not had the spotlight needed to attract research or support specific surgical training in their removal. To continue reading...

Esophageal Cancer: Adding Immunotherapy to Standard Treatment (Discover April 10. 2019)

Esophageal cancer is relatively rare, with 17,650 new cases expected in the U.S. in 2019. It is, however, one of the top ten leading causes of cancer-related death, with 85 percent of patients experiencing recurrence and ultimately succumbing to their disease. To continue reading...

Discovery points to new cancer immunotherapy option (VUMC Reporter February 21, 2019)

An international team involving Vanderbilt researchers has discovered that a new “checkpoint” protein on immune system cells is active in tumors, and that blocking it — in combination with other treatments — is a successful therapeutic approach in mouse models of cancer. The findings were reported in the journal Cell. To continue reading...

Surgeon helps restore cancer patients' functionality (VUMC Reporter November 15, 2018)

Sarah Rohde long had an interest in treating cancer, and her research during her undergraduate and medical school years at the University of Virginia underscored that. What she didn’t expect was to become a surgeon. To continue reading...

Design competition aims to assist laryngectomy patients (VUMC Reporter March 29, 2018)

The first annual LaryHacks, a competition to design innovative devices, apps or methods to assist laryngectomy patients who have had their voice boxes removed, has been set for Thursday, April 12, 5 to 8 p.m., in the Wond’ry, 2414 Highland Ave. in the Vanderbilt University Engineering and Science building. To continue reading...


Patient stories


Scientific, peer-reviewed articles

(bolded names held primary faculty appointments in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the time of publication)