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Head and neck surgeon

The surgeons play a fundamental role in helping to make a diagnosis and subsequently in treatment. Most cases are initially fast-tracked to a surgeon who performs one or more of biopsy, outpatient fibreoptic laryngoscopy, and examination under anaesthetic.     

The tumour is staged accurately with the help of the pathologist and radiologist, after which the patient is discussed in the multidisciplinary (MDT) meeting and then seen jointly in the combined clinic with the patient to discuss treatment options.

Surgery and radiotherapy either alone or in combination is the mainstay in treatment. Surgeons and oncologists work together in clinic to ensure the best personalised treatment is offered to each patient. In clinic, additional support is offered from allied health professionals including clinical nurse specialists (CNS), speech and language therapist (SaLT) and dieticians.  

Each MDT should include three or more designated surgeons, who are likely to be maxillofacial, ear nose and throat (ENT) and plastic surgeons, often with overlapping interests and includes surgeons who are proficient in reconstruction, including microvascular and microneural techniques. Head and neck operations are lengthy and often require a two-team approach with clinicians from the same or different specialties.

Surgery is undertaken in Poole Hospital with a highly trained specialised surgical theatre team. Recovery takes place either in intensive care (initially), or straight to B2 ward, with our head and neck trained nursing staff. 

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Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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