The department of ENT, Head & Neck Surgery at Apollo Speciality Hospital, Chennai, specializes in treating head, neck and skull base tumours. It functions closely with the departments of Neurosurgery, Plastic surgery, Radiation oncology, Medical oncology and allied specialties to provide the best comprehensive treatment for patients with head & neck tumours. Management strategies are worked out individually for each patient.
Head and Neck Tumour Surgery
Surgical management of benign (non-cancer) and malignant (cancer) lesions of the head and neck, such as composite resection of mouth cancers, total and partial laryngectomy (removal of voice box), voice rehabilitation procedures (voice prosthesis), and surgeries for cancer of the sinuses, salivary gland (Parotidectomy) and hypopharyngeal cancers (upper part of food passage) are being done regularly. After tumour resection, reconstruction is done using a combination of microvascular techniques by the plastic surgeons and osseointegrated implants by the dental surgeons to bring the quality of life of the patients as close to normal as possible.
Skull Base Surgery
Tumours arising from the sinuses and ear, because of their location invade the structures that separate the brain from the rest of the head and neck (skull base). In the past, these tumours reaching the base of the skull were considered unapproachable and therefore incurable. Combined efforts of the ENT head & neck surgeons, neurosurgeons and the plastic surgeons have increased the ability to resect these tumours with preservation of function and appearance. Malignant skull base tumours arising from the sinuses, ear, nasopharynx and infratemporal fossa are resected with good results. The Apollo Speciality Hospital, Chennai, is among the few in the country to perform these surgeries. BrainLAB's image guidance system is used for precise removal of skull base tumours without injury to normal neurovascular structures.
Benign tumours like acoustic neuromas, glomus jugulare tumours and other cerebellopontine angle tumours as well as facial nerve pathologies are operated using otoneurosurgical techniques. Retraction of the normal brain to expose these tumours can produce significant morbidity. The otoneurosurgical techniques reduce or eliminate brain retraction. Intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring of the cranial nerves is carried out to preserve their function.
Minimally Invasive Skull Base Surgery
An exciting advance in the last decade has been the use of the endoscope to remove tumours situated deep in the base of the skull. Skull base tumours like pituitary adenoma, craniopharyngioma and chordoma can be removed through the nostril without a skin incision. Apollo Speciality Hospital has the credit of performing the maximum number of Transnasal endoscopic pituitary surgeries in India. Leakage of fluid from the brain (CSF rhinorrhoea) and herniation of brain into the nose can also be repaired using this technique. Better visibility with this technique has considerably improved tumour removal, reduced hospital stay and minimized postoperative complications. At the Apollo Speciality Hospital, Chennai, this technique has been successfully used since 1995.