Plastic surgeons such as ours, who have a special interest in treating cancers of the head and neck, are uniquely placed to offer holistic surgical support to those who have either a benign or malignant tumour in this most sensitive and prominent area.
As fully qualified plastic surgeons, we have expertise not only in the resection (removal) of these growths but also in the reconstruction of the defects left by the curative surgery. One advantage of this, for example, is that by knowing our own ability to reconstruct a defect reliably so that it restores as much function as possible and is aesthetically acceptable, it can potentially influence how confidently we set the margins for the removal of the tumour.
We can remove:
Managing malignant tumours in the head and neck region is complex. That’s why most larger tumours require a coordinated approach to treatment, preferably with a multidisciplinary team, including those performing the surgery, the reconstruction surgeons and other specialists, such as medical and radiation oncologists, nursing staff, speech therapists, physiotherapists and dentists.
Smaller lesions may be adequately treated with local resection and simple reconstruction using routine plastic surgery techniques. However, the specific structures of the ears, nose, eyelids and lips require restoration that is aesthetically and functionally acceptable, using procedures that no other specialist is trained for, apart from a plastic surgeon.
Our surgeons who have a special interest in the head and neck region routinely deal with malignant melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, oral cavity and larynx, as well as malignant tumours of the salivary glands and other tissues.
We have surgeons actively involved in this field as members of multidisciplinary units at Flinders Medical Centre and the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and of the field’s principal academic body in our region, the Australian and New Zealand Head and Neck Society.