Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeon Richard Wong

Richard J. Wong, MD, FACS

Head and Neck Surgeon

My Role at MSK

Areas of Expertise

My Specialties

  • Thyroid Cancer Surgery
  • Oral Cavity Cancer
  • Salivary Tumors

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About Me

What I Do at MSK
  • Chief, Head and Neck Service
  • Jatin P. Shah Chair in Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology
Get To Know Me

I am a surgeon who has worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering for over 20 years to care for people with thyroid and head and neck cancers. I have a particular expertise and interest in the surgical removal of thyroid cancer, nodal metastases from thyroid cancer, and recurrent thyroid cancer.

I also have a strong interest in treating oral cancer, salivary gland tumors, melanoma, parathyroid adenomas, and other cancers involving the head and neck region.

Read more

As Chief of MSK’s Head and Neck Service, it is my privilege to lead a team of thirteen expert surgeons who perform all aspects of head and neck oncologic surgery. We are committed to providing our patients with the optimal treatment for their cancer, while also focusing on maximizing their quality of life. We collaborate closely with a renowned multidisciplinary team of physicians from endocrinology, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology, medical oncology, plastic surgery, dentistry, thoracic surgery and other disciplines to individualize each patient’s treatment plan for their particular condition.

I am the principal investigator of a grant from the National Cancer institute supporting the training of head and neck surgeons at MSK. My research laboratory is also funded by the National Cancer Institute. We focus on developing a better understanding of the complex molecular and cellular interactions between tumors and nerves. Our team is working to identify novel molecular targets that may be treated to improve outcomes for our patients.

My Role at MSK

A head and neck surgeon is a doctor with special training in surgery on the head and neck. This includes the larynx, lips, mouth, nose, salivary glands, and throat.

Areas of Expertise

My Specialties

  • Thyroid Cancer Surgery
  • Oral Cavity Cancer
  • Salivary Tumors
  • Neck Tumors
  • Melanoma
  • Parathyroid Tumors
  • Laryngeal and Pharyngeal Cancers
  • Sinus and Skull Base Tumors
  • Vocal Cord Medialization
Education & Honors

Education

  • MD, Harvard Medical School

Residencies

  • Otolaryngology - Harvard Medical School

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: America’s Top Doctor (2024)
  • Top Doctors New York Metro Area, Castle Connolly (2023)
  • Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors (digital guide, 2016-2023)
  • America's Top Doctors (book series): 12th Edition, 13th Edition, 14th Edition
  • Top Doctors: New York Metro Area (book series): 16th Edition, 17th Edition, 18th Edition
  • New York Magazine: Top Doctors (2012-2022)
  • America's Top Doctors for Cancer (book series): 8th Edition, 9th Edition, 10th Edition
  • Top Doctors New York Metro Area (digital guide, 2016-2022)
  • Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors for Cancer (digital guide, 2016-2021)

Fellowships

  • Head and Neck Surgical Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

  • Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Insurance Information

Understanding your insurance options is an important part of managing your cancer care. We have relationships with many common healthcare providers and plans.

Aetna

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO PPO, POS, Transplant

Aetna Medicare Advantage (MTA retirees only)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield New York

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Blue Cross Blue Shield states outside of NY/NJ

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO PPO, POS

Blue Cross Health Plus

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Carrum Health

In Network Coverage Type
Supplemental

Cigna

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

MSK has a tentative agreement with Cigna to continue coverage in 2024.

Connecticare

In Network Coverage Type
POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem Essential

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Emblem Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

Empire Blue Cross Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO, DSN

Empire Essential

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Empire Plan / NYSHIP (Blue Cross/UnitedHealthcare split plan)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Fidelis

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO

Fidelis Managed Medicaid & HARP

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Fidelis Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

First Health

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Healthfirst

In Network Coverage Type
EPO, HMO, PPO, POS

Healthfirst Managed Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Healthfirst Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, PPO

Healthsmart

In Network Coverage Type
PPO EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (HMO)

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (PPO)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier I (EPO)

In Network Coverage Type
EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier II (EPO)

In Network Coverage Type
EPO

Horizon Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

Husky CT Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Magnacare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO

Straight NJ Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Straight NY Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Medicare Part A&B (traditional Medicare)

In Network Coverage Type
Federal Government

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

In Network Coverage Type
Supplemental

MVP

In Network Coverage Type
PPO/OAP

Non-Participating Plans with Out of Network Benefits

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus for City Employees

In Network Coverage Type
TBD

Oscar

In Network Coverage Type
HMO/EPO

Oxford

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, EPO

World Trade Center Health Program (WTC)

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Qualcare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Tricare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

UMR

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS

United Healthcare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Don't see your carrier or plan? We can help you understand your coverage.

If you don't have health insurance or are worried that your care may not be fully covered, our financial assistance programs may be able to help.

If you have questions about insurance, call us at 646-497-9176.

Make an Appointment

Current Patients

Request an appointment by logging on to MyMSK or calling your doctor’s office. If you aren’t registered for MyMSK, call 646-227-2593 for your Enrollment ID.

Contact and Location

Dr. Wong sees patients at one location.

Office Phone
Location
New York, NY

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Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

See all Head and Neck Service doctors

See all Surgery doctors

Clinical Trials

Smiling doctors in the lab
Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Search clinical trials

Research and Publications

View Dr. Wong's Lab

  1. Deborde S, Gusain L, Powers A, Marcadis A, Yu Y, Chen CH, Frants A, Kao E, Tang LH, Vakiani E, Amisaki M, Balachandran V, Calo A, Omelchenko T, Jessen KR, Reva B, Wong RJ. Reprogrammed Schwann cells organize into dynamic tracks that promote pancreatic cancer invasion. Cancer Discov. 2022; Jul 26; CD-21-1690. PMID35881881.
  2. Chernichenko N, Omelchenko T, Deborde S, Bakst RL, He S, Chen C-H, Gusain L, Vakiani E, Katabi N, Hall A, Wong RJ. Cdc42 mediates cancer cell chemotaxis in perineural invasion. Mol Cancer Res. 2020;18(6):913–925. PMCID: PMC7272295 
  3. Deborde S, Yu Y, Marcadis A, Chen CH, Fan N, Bakst RL, Wong RJ. An in vivo murine sciatic nerve model of perineural invasion. J Vis Exp. 2018;134:56857. PMCID: PMC5965264 
  4. Bakst RL, Xiong H, Chen CH, Deborde S, Lyubchik A, Zhou Y, He S, McNamara W, Lee SY, Olson OC, Leiner IM, Marcadis AR, Keith JW, Al-Ahmadie HA, Katabi N, Gil Z, Vakiani E, Joyce JA, Pamer E, Wong RJ. Inflammatory monocytes promote perineural invasion via CCL2-mediated recruitment and cathepsin B expression. Cancer Res2017;77(2):6400–6414. PMCID: PMC5831809 
  5. Deborde S, Omelchenko T, Lyubchik A, Zhou Y, He S, McNamara WF, Chernichenko N, Lee SY, Barajas F, Chen CH, Bakst RL, Vakiani E, He S, Hall A, Wong RJ. Schwann cells induce cancer cell dispersion and invasion. J Clin Invest. 2016;126(4):1538–1554. PMCID: PMC4811155 
  6. He S, He S, Chen CH, Deborde S, Bakst RL, Chernichenko N, McNamara WF, Lee SY, Barajas F, Yu Z, Al-Ahmadie HA, Wong RJ. The chemokine (CCL2-CCR2) signaling axis mediates perineural invasion. Mol Cancer Res. 2015;13(2):380-390. PMCID: PMC4336839 
  7. He S, Chen CH, Chernichenko N, He S, Bakst RL, Barajas F, Deborde S, Allen PJ, Vakiani E, Yu Z, Wong RJ. GFRα1 released by nerves enhances cancer cell perineural invasion through GDNF-RET signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(19):E2008–17. PMCID: PMC4024863 
  8. Bakst RL, Lee N, He S, Chernichenko N, Chen CH, Linkov G, Le HC, Koutcher J, Vakiani E, Wong RJ. Radiation impairs perineural invasion by modulating the nerve microenvironment. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39925. PMID: 22768171
  9. Gil Z, Cavel O, Kelly K, Brader P, Rein A, Gao SP, Carlson DL, Shah JP, Fong Y, Wong RJ. Paracrine regulation of pancreatic cancer cell invasion by peripheral nerves. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010;102(2):107–118. PMCID: PMC2911041
  10. Gil Z, Rein A, Brader P, Li S, Shah JP, Fong Y, Wong RJ. Nerve-sparing therapy with oncolytic herpes virus for cancers with neural invasion. Clin Cancer Res. 2007; 13(21):6479-85. PMID: 17975160 

Selected Book Chapters
“Cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses.” Wong RJ, Kraus DK. In: American Cancer Society Atlas of Clinical Oncology: Cancer of the Head and Neck.  Shah JP, ed. London: BC Decker; 2001: 204-224.

“Incidence, etiology, diagnosis and staging of head and neck cancer.” Wong RJ, Shah JPIn: The Practice of General Surgery. Bland KI, ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2002: 249-256.

“Morphophysiology of the salivary glands.” Wong RJ, Randolph G. In: Otolaryngology: Basic Science and Clinical Review. Van de Water TR, ed. New York: Thieme; 2005: 634-642.

“How to evaluate surgical margins in mandibular resections.” Wong RJ. In: Pearls and Pitfalls in Head and Neck Surgery. Cernea CR, ed. New York: Karger; 2008: 64-66.

“How to evaluate surgical margins in mandibular resections.” Wong RJ. In: Pearls and Pitfalls in Head and Neck Surgery: Practical Tips to Minimize Complications. 2nd ed. Cernea CR, ed. New York: Karger, 2012.

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Wong’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

See all on PubMed

Disclosures

Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

Richard J. Wong discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

No disclosures meeting criteria for time period


If you’re a patient at MSK and would like more information about your doctor’s external relationships, please talk with your doctor.

The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.


This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2022 through disclosure submission in spring 2023). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.

Learn more about MSK’s COI policies here. For questions regarding MSK’s COI-related policies and procedures, email MSK’s Compliance Office at [email protected].


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