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Pediatric head and neck surgery

At Cohen Children’s, we believe the highest quality of care for children with complex head and neck lesions comes from a multidisciplinary, integrated team approach. When children are affected by thyroid, salivary gland, skin or other head and neck cancers, we feel that an integrated approach to evaluation and management provides the best patient care and overall family experience. This approach allows for streamlined channels of communication and facilitation of consultations. In addition, patient evaluations are able to be scheduled to make it as easy as possible for children and their families, so they don't have to be concerned that information is not shared among care providers.

Our primary goal is to make diagnostic evaluation and management recommendations as if each child were one of our own, while providing state-of-the-art clinical care, and improving diagnostic and treatment techniques. Research is a critical component of our program, both to advance treatment options, as well as examine our patient outcomes to guide evidence-based clinical practice.


Through the Advanced Pediatric Head and Neck Surgery Program, we offer a full range of services, including:

  • Pediatric dental care
  • Pediatric hematology/oncology
  • Pediatric oral surgery
  • Pediatric otolaryngology – head and neck surgery
  • Pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Other pediatric subspecialty care/services available as needed

We also specialize in the treatment of pediatric head and neck cancers, including:

  • Pediatric salivary gland tumors
  • Pediatric melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers
  • Bony lesions of the face and skull
  • Pediatric thyroid nodules and cancer
  • Pediatric lymphatic and vascular anomalies
  • Hemangiomas 

Patient story

Before Katy was born, her doctors had already identified a very large right sided lymphatic malformation involving the neck. Katy was introduced to us while her mother was still carrying her in her belly. Because of the size of the lesion, we were not sure if Katy would be able to breathe on her own after birth, or if the lesion would suffocate her soon after birth. Doctors from the Advanced Pediatric Head and Neck Surgery Team at Cohen Children's were present in the delivery room to secure Katy’s airway and prevent any problems breathing.

Katy spent several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Cohen Children's, during which time she received multiple interventional radiology procedures to drain and sclerose (harden) the lymphatic malformation. Although some doctors advocated tracheostomy tube placement, Katy had her breathing tube removed and was finally able to breathe on her own. She was eventually discharged home without a tracheostomy.

Despite all of the sclerotherapy, Katy continued to have a large, right sided lymphatic malformation. Although Katy never let her lymphatic malformation slow her down, her friends were starting to notice and we became concerned about the psychosocial considerations. Doctors from the Advanced Pediatric Head and Neck Surgery Program performed surgery, carefully dissecting the lesion off the deep nerves and blood vessels in the neck and contouring the neck, to receive an outstanding result. 

Although Katy has always had the same beautiful spirit inside and out, now with the lesion safely removed, she can enter nursery school with confidence.