Side effects from treatment will vary according to procedure and follow-up therapy. Patients may experience such simple side effects as swelling and soreness in the mouth to more severe effects as loss of ability to chew, swallow, and speak. Other surgeries may cause a noticeable change in a patient’s appearance. These changes can be minimized with the use of micro-vascular reconstruction of surgical defects, as done by The New York Otolaryngology Group.
In the treatment of head and neck cancers, quality of life issues have become paramount considerations in the development of a treatment plan. Dr. Krevitt works closely with NYOG colleague and leading reconstructive surgeon Dr. Burnett – as well as several post-surgical rehabilitation therapists – to devise a treatment plan that is ideally designed to support each patient’s full and healthy recovery.
Maintaining proper post-surgical nutrition is vital for a full recovery. As surgery often disables proper chewing and swallowing, Dr. Krevitt works closely with nutritionists to ensure that patients receive adequate sustenance, typically smaller meals composed of soft foods rich in proper nutrients. NYOG has a team of swallowing specialists to help in this process.
Speech language pathologists are deployed for their skill at rehabilitating the ability to swallow and at restoring a patient’s ability to speak. Our speech language pathologist offers a variety of therapies from simple exercises that strengthen the tongue to the use of supplemental aids that replicate speech, common after a laryngectomy.
The New York Otolaryngology Group also works closely with leading plastic and reconstructive surgeons, when patient outcomes require such specialty care.