The head and neck region contains some of the most complex anatomy in the human body. The key organs that are involved in most of our daily activities which allow us to breathe, phonate, swallow, see, hear, smell and taste are all located in this region.
Various non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tumors can arise in the head and neck region, ranging from superficial skin lesions to deep, invading cancers. Although most growths are benign, surgical excision or biopsy of these tumors is commonly performed to rule out cancer. For example, large lymph nodes are commonly biopsied to rule out cancer.
There are many types of Benign Tumors that can develop in the head and neck. If small and asymptomatic, they can be observed. However, Benign Tumors that disrupt the function of nearby structures, become a source of infections or cause a cosmetic deformity, often require surgical excision. These lesions include lipomas, cysts, thyroglossal duct cysts and branchial cleft cysts.
Cancer can develop in any part of the head and neck. Cancerous Tumors often require multi-disciplinary treatment including surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. These tumors are usually very dangerous and require immediate treatment in order to obtain the best outcome. Cancerous tumors have a tendency to invade and destroy surrounding structures and spread to other parts of the body (Metastasize). The most common site of metastasis is the lymph nodes of the neck.
Treatment options (surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy) vary depending on the location and size of the tumor, in addition to the type of cancer. The goal of treatment is not only to provide a cure, but in addition, emphasis is placed on function and cosmetic outcome.
Imaging of the neck with an Ultrasound, MRI or CT scan helps to identify the extent of the tumor and involvement of surrounding structures.
Fine needle aspiration biopsy can be used to determine whether the growth is benign or cancerous. The biopsy samples the cells in the area of concern which are then sent to a pathologist for analysis. During the procedure, a thin needle is inserted through the skin into the tumor to collect a sample of cells. Multiple samples are usually taken to ensure an accurate analysis. Fine needle aspiration biopsy is carried out in the office by Dr. Zadeh. The samples of cells are then sent to a pathologist for evaluation.
Partial or complete excision of the tumor is also often performed to diagnose the nature of the tumor. If the tumor is benign, complete excision of the tumor not only provides for the diagnosis, but is also the treatment.
Both benign and malignant tumors often reside next to critical vessels and nerves and therefore require delicate and meticulous surgical technique in order to preserve surrounding structures. If surgery is warranted, Dr. Zadeh has the necessary experience and knowledge to formulate and execute an appropriate surgical plan to remove these tumors with minimal risk to these critical structures. Dr. Zadeh utilizes state-of-the-art, minimally invasive and image-guided surgery when appropriate and relevant. He has extensive knowledge of the anatomy and function of the structures in this region and is cognizant of function and cosmetic outcome. Dr. Zadeh places a strong emphasis in creating the smallest incision possible that can provide safe removal of the tumor with minimal cosmetic deformity and uses cosmetic surgery principles to disguise the incision scar.