Division of Head and Neck Surgery

The Head and Neck Surgery Division is the only academic, multi-disciplinary Head and Neck Cancer program in South and Central Texas. It is a multi-specialty team comprised of fellowship-trained physicians whose primary focus is the surgical management of a diverse array of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck. Our Head and Neck team is a crucial part of the Mays Cancer Center/MD Anderson Cancer Center and works in close collaboration with colleagues in Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, Radiology, Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery, Oral Surgery/Dentistry, Speech Pathology, and Pathology.

As one of only four National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Centers in Texas, the Mays Cancer Center takes its place among the world’s most respected cancer treatment centers devoted exclusively to leading-edge research and unparalleled patient care. Our partnership with MD Anderson brings greater access to world-class treatment protocols, standards of care, and select clinical trials to the people of South Texas. Every new head and neck cancer patient is discussed at our weekly multidisciplinary tumor conference in order to provide each patient with a personalized and comprehensive treatment plan.

Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer encompasses a diverse group of tumors/cancers that arise from the oral cavity, pharynx/throat/tonsils, larynx/voice box, sinonasal region, as well as the skin of the scalp, face, and neck. Treatment options are diverse and can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. At UT Health San Antonio, we recognize that every patient’s needs are unique, and our team has the experience and expertise to design comprehensive treatment plans that both optimize cure and maximize patients’ long-term function and quality of life.

Thyroid/Parathyroid Surgery

Our expert team cares for a wide range of benign and malignant conditions of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. Common indications for surgical consultation include thyroid nodules and cancers, thyroid goiters, Grave’s disease, and hyperparathyroidism. We work closely with our colleagues in Endocrinology to facilitate multidisciplinary treatment plans, and we utilize innovative surgical techniques and advanced technology including minimally-invasive procedures and intra-operative recurrent laryngeal nerve (nerve to the voice box) monitoring.

Minimally Invasive & Robotic Head and Neck Surgery

Modern, state-of-the-art technologies such as robotic surgery and microsurgery are reshaping the landscape of head and neck cancer surgery. These innovative techniques enable our surgeons to gain safe and minimally-invasive access to the base of tongue, pharynx/throat, and larynx (voice box) in order to precisely remove tumors and preserve critical functions related to speech and swallowing. Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) in particular has transformed the treatment of cancers of the oropharynx by avoiding large, disfiguring incisions and enabling patients to receive less chemotherapy and radiation therapy after surgery. Our Head and Neck Robotic Surgery team—led by Jay Ferrell, MD—was one of the first in the region to perform TORS and continues to offer these cutting-edge procedures to the people of San Antonio and South Texas.

Head and Neck Reconstruction

Our multidisciplinary team consists of experienced, fellowship-trained Head and Neck/Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgeons who work in close collaboration with our head and neck surgical team to restore both cosmetic appearance and vital functions impacted by head and neck cancer treatment. See our Facial Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery Division.

Head-Neck Surgeons:

Head-Neck Surgical Reconstruction:

Physician Assistants:

Head-Neck Nurse Navigator/Case Manager:

  • Leslie Villarreal, RN (Mays Cancer Center)