Video: Reconstructive Surgery for Head and Neck Cancer

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Reconstructive surgeons play an important role in treating patients with head and neck cancer, says plastic surgeon Joseph Disa of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. These specialists work closely with surgical oncologists and patients to determine the best treatment plan. When possible, living tissue or bone may be transplanted from another part of the patient’s body to restore appearance and optimize function after surgery. Depending on the location and type of tumor that is removed, patients may require the expertise of other specialists such as prosthodontists, dental specialists, and prosthetists, who can create devices to facilitate swallowing and speech.