Head and Neck Surgery

Doctor examining patients neck

The head and neck surgeons at The University of Kansas Hospital treat cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the head and neck, including tumors in the thyroid and parathyroid.

Our physicians are nationally recognized leaders in the management of head and neck disorders. They provide the most progressive medical and surgical treatments available, including minimally invasive options.

Specialty areas

Together, they diagnose both minor and complex conditions and provide the most progressive medical treatments available.

Our physicians are also teachers, training residents and medical students in the most advanced surgical techniques and the fundamentals of quality patient care.

Endoscopic laser surgery for head and neck cancer

Preserving healthy tissue and function

The University of Kansas Hospital is one of the only facilities nationwide to perform endoscopic laser surgery (ELS) to remove cancer from the mouth, throat and larynx.

During ELS, your surgeon uses a laser to cut away microscopic amounts of tissue. These are immediately evaluated under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous. When all the cancerous tissue has been removed, the surgery ends.

This gradual removal technique preserves healthy tissue and function. It also eliminates the need for extensive surgery that damages important throat structures. With ELS, swallowing, breathing and voice can often be preserved.

Reconstructive surgery for the head and neck

Maximizing appearance and function

Reconstructive surgery plays an important role in the complex process of treating tumors and deformities of the head and neck. The main goal is to optimize appearance and function.

The University of Kansas Hospital is the only hospital in the region with a team of microvascular surgeons experienced in head and neck reconstruction.

Reconstructive techniques range from using small amounts of tissue from areas near the surgical site to using skin, bones and tendons from distant areas of the body to reconstruct the intricate function and contours of the head and neck. Our physicians pioneered a reconstructive technique using tissues from the forearm, which they now teach to surgeons around the country.

Specialized reconstructive techniques are used not only after removal of tumors, but also in the treatment of head and neck deformities caused by birth defects, injuries and surgical procedures.

Skull base surgery

The region's only skull base surgery team

The University of Kansas Hospital is home to the region's only surgical team that specializes in the removal of tumors in the base of the skull.

We are one of only a few hospitals in the United States that removes skull base tumors using virtually all types of standard and minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Our otolaryngologists (ENT physicians) combine expertise in neurosurgery and reconstructive surgery with state-of-the-art technologies to provide the safest and most comprehensive care possible.

Thyroid surgery

More than 30,000 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Many patients don’t experience symptoms until the disease has reached an advanced stage.

Treatment for thyroid cancer may include:

  • Surgery
  • Radioactive iodine
  • Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH) Suppression Therapy

New minimally invasive endoscopic techniques have been developed for the management of patients with thyroid nodules. These techniques allow better visualization during surgery and lead to smaller neck incisions, less post-operative pain/swelling and shorter hospital stays.

Need help making an appointment?

Call 913-588-1227 or request an appointment online.