mom and daughter embracing

Head and Neck Cancer Reconstruction

Patients requiring surgical treatment for head and neck cancers often need complex reconstruction to restore the basic functions of breathing, eating, swallowing, and speaking. Our highly skilled surgical team strives to preserve, recover, and restore function and appearance for an improved quality of life.

Reasons for Head and Neck Cancer Reconstruction

Radiation and cancer surgery may damage or destroy some original facial features of head and neck cancer patients. Because of that, surgeons use special techniques to fill in the voids with custom prosthetic and surgical procedures.

Who Is a Candidate for Reconstruction?

Candidates for this surgery include patients who suffer from the effects of cancers or tumors of the head and neck and their treatments, as well as those who have experienced severe traumatic injuries.

Head and Neck Reconstruction Treatments

Head and neck cancer reconstruction techniques usually involve microvascular surgeries—similar to transplanting tissue from one part of your body to another—including:

  • Free muscle transfer: Harvesting muscle from the back or abdomen to rebuild the skull.
  • Free bone transfer: Moving bone, muscle and skin from one part of the body for facial and skeletal reconstruction.
  • Free skin and free fat transfer: Skin and fat are transplanted from the forearm or thigh to rebuild parts of the head and neck.

The goal as much as possible is to return a patient’s appearance and function to how they were before cancer treatment.