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Department of Otolaryngology - Service Chief Reports
Division of Head Neck Surgery and Oncology
Krishnamurthi Sundaram, MD
Steven B. Cannady, MD
The Division of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology continues to be extremely active and productive, both clinically and academically. Drs. Sundaram, Har-El, Cannady, Butts, Hanson and Lim, continue their role in running the leading center for head and neck cancer management in Brooklyn. Patients are being referred from Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. In addition, our voluntary attending staff, especially Drs. Dodaro, S. Kantu, M. Kantu, Sinnreich Carney, and Ciecko , continue to bring their head and neck surgical cases to our institutions, benefiting from the support of the department and residents, and enriching our teaching patient volume.
Each month, the Division of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology run two busy head and neck tumor boards. We have a monthly multi-disciplinary general tumor board at SUNY-Downstate/Kings County Hospital and Long Island College Hospital. There is full participation of our attending and resident staff members in all tumor board conferences. Dr. Frank Lucente contributes invaluable advice on ethical issues. Other participants include radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists. These dedicated tumor board sessions have been very successful in discussing difficult cases and designing treatment plans.
Our Laryngologists, Dr. Boris Bentsianov’s [division director] and Dr. Joshua Silverman’s experience and expertise in Laryngeal cancer management as well as rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients after ablative surgery is of great benefit to our patients. This includes management and rehabilitation of their speech and swallowing functions. Dr. Silverman won a teaching award this year.
Physicians in the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery have been working closely with our cancer surgeons on advanced reconstructive procedures for head and neck cancer. Dr. Afshin Parhiscar has been working with us for over ten years at both Long Island College Hospital and Kings County Hospital. His experience and expertise in reconstructive surgery in general and in microvascular free tissue transfer in particular, has helped our patients tremendously. In fact, his success rate in free tissue transfer has been very impressive. Dr. Steven Cannady is now very active with oncologic resections as well as microvascular reconstruction. His outcomes are excellent. Dr. Richard Westreich is the Director of the Plastic Surgery Division within the Department of Otolaryngology. His experience and expertise in management of facial skin cancer is an important part of our teaching program. Dr. Sydney Butts [director at UHB], a versatile facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon has proved to be an invaluable addition to the department in caring for cancer and trauma patients. Drs. Westreich and Butts both won teaching awards last year.
As chief of the Head and Neck service at University Hospital, Dr. Steven Cannady is striving to expand and revitalize the Head and Neck service at KCHC and UHB. His excellent surgical and teaching skills have been a great addition to the service. With Drs. Butts and Parhiscar, the three have worked hard to establish a head and neck microvascular program at KCHC and expanded the arsenal of treatment and reconstruction options available to patients afflicted with advanced head and neck cancer in central Brooklyn. Dr. Marina Boruk who completed a Rhinology fellowship at Vanderbilt University after a residency at Downstate actively collaborates with the head and neck aurgeons in the management of nasal and sinus tumors.
Faculty members and residents of our department are regular participants and attendees at the meetings of the New York Head and Neck Society, which is the largest local/regional head and neck oncological organization in North America. Presentations at national meetings such as the International head and neck conferences and the annual meetings of the AAO-HNS and Triological society are a regular feature. An annual head and neck symposium is being planned for December 2012. This year the topic is Plastic and reconstructive surgery.
We had also important technological additions in our operating rooms at UHB- Long Island College Hospital, SUNY-Downstate, and Kings County Hospital. First, state-of-the-art sophisticated intraoperative computerized navigation systems are available at the operating rooms. This equipment has a significant positive impact on our ability to manage skull base lesions with added patient safety. Second, we have the availability of intraoperative parathyroid hormone assay at UHB-Long Island College Hospital. This changes significantly the management of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. Surgery is significantly shorter and post-operative hospital stay is reduced. Transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) is a standard tool in our armamentarium. Preparation to start the Transoral Robotic surgery (TORS) program is underway at University Hospital.
In collaboration with Dr. Camille Ragin from the Fox Chase Cancer Center, research is being planned on the role of viruses, genes and environmental factors in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in the inner city. Dr. Jonathan Cohen, one of our senior residents, is planning a fellowship in head and neck oncology and microvascular reconstruction. He is currently doing research on health care disparities in head and neck cancer in Brooklyn. Dr. Aynehchi has completed a study on validating a single item fatigue questionnaire. Our Chairman, Dr. Richard Rosenfeld has supported the head and neck division and strongly encouraged its growth. With his help we look forward to further growth and development of the division.