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Department of Otolaryngology - Service Chief Reports
Division of Head Neck Surgery and Oncology
Krishnamurthi Sundaram, MD
Natalya Chernichenko, 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, Chernichenko, Butts, Hanson and Lim, continue their role in running the leading center for head and neck cancer management in Brooklyn. Using an interdisciplinary approach, experts from across disciplines come together to provide state-of-the-art care for patients with all types and stages of head and neck cancer. Each month, the Division of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology runs two busy head and neck tumor boards at SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital. We also participate in a monthly head and neck tumor board at New York Methodist Hospital. In the spirit of multidisciplinary approach, management decisions are made in collaboration by head and neck surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists. 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. These dedicated tumor board sessions have been very successful in discussing difficult cases and designing treatment plans. Advances in surgical equipment as well as special training and expertise of our surgeons made it possible to add transoral robotic surgery (TORS), transoral laser surgery (TLS), endoscopic skull base surgery and video-assisted thyroid surgery to our armamentarium.
As a comprehensive head and neck cancer center, we place a special emphasis on quality of life of cancer patients and their families that led to establishment of our survivorship program. Head and neck cancer can impact some of the most basic human functions, including swallowing, speech, sight, fertility and appearance just to name a few. Our head and neck surgeons as well as our laryngologists, Dr. Bentsianov [division director] and Dr. Silverman, in collaboration with speech and language pathologists, Dr. Luis Riquelme and Ms. Alexandra Soyfer, work with our patients to rehabilitate every aspect of speech and swallowing function following ablative head and neck surgery. Physicians in the Division of Microvascular and Reconstructive Surgery have been working closely with our cancer surgeons on advanced reconstructive procedures for head and neck cancer.