Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeon Richard Wong

Richard J. Wong, MD, FACS

Surgeon

Titles

Chief, Head and Neck Service; Jatin P. Shah Chair in Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology

Clinical Expertise

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

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New Patient Appointments

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Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., (Eastern time)
Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Wong accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Aetna

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO PPO, POS, Transplant

Aetna Medicare Advantage (City of NY retirees only, starting 7/1/23)

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield New York

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Blue Cross Blue Shield states outside of NY/NJ

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO PPO, POS

Blue Cross Health Plus

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Carrum Health

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): Supplemental

Cigna

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

Connecticare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem Essential

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Emblem Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

Empire Blue Cross Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO, DSN

Empire Essential

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

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

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Fidelis

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO

Fidelis Managed Medicaid & HARP

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Fidelis Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

First Health

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Healthfirst

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO, HMO, PPO, POS

Healthfirst Managed Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Healthfirst Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, PPO

Healthsmart

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (HMO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (PPO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

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

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO

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

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO

Horizon Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

Husky CT Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Magnacare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO

Medicare Part A&B (traditional Medicare)

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): Federal Government

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): Supplemental

MVP

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO/OAP

Non-Participating Plans with Out of Network Benefits

Payor Type: Other
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus for City Employees

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): TBD

Oscar

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO/EPO

Oxford

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, EPO

Qualcare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

Straight NJ Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Straight NY Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Tricare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

UMR

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS

United Healthcare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

World Trade Center Health Program (WTC)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Contact and Location

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Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offer many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

See all locations

About Me

Education

MD, Harvard Medical School

Residencies

Otolaryngology - Harvard Medical School

Fellowships

Head and Neck Surgical Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

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.

Awards and Honors

  • 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)

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

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, 2021 through disclosure submission in spring 2022). 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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