Head and Neck
Since the founding of the hospital, the Head and Neck Service has been an important part of the Department of Surgery at LIJ. Under the leadership of the late Dr. Joseph Attie, the Service gained national prominence for the outstanding care provided to patients in our community and for the excellence of the clinical research and teaching performed by members of the service. It continues as one of the leading centers in the New York Metropolitan area for the care of patients with head and neck tumors, as well as diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Important advances in patient care introduced to our community at LIJ include:
- The use of microvascular techniques to restore form and function after head and neck cancer surgery;
- A multidisciplinary head and neck tumor board in which physicians and dentists with particular expertise in surgery, otolaryngology, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, diagnostic radiology and pathology meet weekly to help plan the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer;
- A dedicated nursing unit for the care of patients undergoing head and neck surgery;
- Minimally invasive, ambulatory parathyroid and thyroid surgery;
- A Thyroid and Parathyroid Center of Excellence, encompassing physicians with special expertise in the treatment of patients with disorders of these organs, including surgeons, endocrinologists, pathologists, cytologists, radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians.
The Head and Neck Service has a national reputation for surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. Since 1999, more than 2,000 patients have undergone surgery for overactive parathyroid glands at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, more than any other hospital in New York State. Most of these operations are performed under local anesthesia with sedation through small incisions. Patients usually return home within hours after surgery. About 500 patients each year undergo thyroid surgery at LIJ, also making it a leader in New York State for volume of this operation. As a result of this large experience, this painstaking, meticulous surgery can be performed with a remarkably low incidence of complications. Members of the Head and Neck Service have been recognized nationally for their innovations and experience. The results of their clinical research have been presented to numerous national and international meetings and published in the most prestigious scientific journals. They have also been leaders among head and neck surgeons nationally.
Dr. Sanford Dubner (left), Head of the Service, has served as President of the New York Head and Neck Society, one of the foremost societies of head and neck surgeons in the world, and the second largest in the United States. Dr. Laura Sznyter, Dr. Louis Auguste and Dr. Stephen Litvak have held leadership positions in both local and national societies as well.