Head And Neck Surgery
Common Head & Neck Problems
As a board-certified Otolaryngologist, Dr. Slaughter went through a vigorous 5-year specialty training in head and neck surgery and has more than 25 years of experience in these complex surgical procedures.
He has pioneered the development of minimally invasive techniques that allow many of these procedures to be done as an outpatient surgery with greatly reduced downtime.
Dr. Slaughter pioneered outpatient minimally invasive thyroidectomy in Austin. Rather than the traditional large incision procedure requiring hospitalization, this technique allows for a small incision, no drain or dressing requirement, and no need for hospitalization. Most patients do not require any pain medicine after the first day and are back to normal activity in a week. Thyroid goiter, nodules, and cancer can all be treated with this technique.
Parathyroid tumors are also treated with a tiny incision after using sophisticated localization imaging. These small tumors that create elevated calcium levels can typically be removed in a quick procedure with a resumption of normal activity in one day.
Thyroglossal duct cyst and branchial clefts cysts
Thyroglossal Duct Cyst is a benign cyst in the upper central neck that can rapidly expand and become infected. It arises from remnants of the thyroid during embryologic development. The understanding of this development is critical when removing this cyst to prevent a recurrence. Dr. Slaughter has extensive experience in the removal of this congenital cyst.
Branchial cleft cysts can present as cysts in the neck with occasional draining pores. They frequently become infected and tender with rapid enlargement. These cysts develop as part of a complex embryological development. Dr. Slaughter understands the detailed anatomy and development of these cysts and can offer safe removal as an outpatient surgery.
Salivary Gland Tumors
The face and neck contain the parotid and submandibular salivary glands. These glands can develop benign and malignant tumors such as:
- Pleomorphic adenoma
- Warthin’s tumor
- Acinic cell carcinoma
These tumors arise surrounded by very important nerves in the facial area and a detailed understanding of the anatomy and experience is critical to their removal. Dr. Slaughter has extensive experience to safely remove these tumors as an outpatient procedure.
Enlarged Lymph Node (Lymphadenopathy)
Lymph nodes can become enlarged in kids and adults. It’s very important to differentiate between a benign reactive lymph node enlargement, primary cancers such as lymphoma, and metastatic cancers that can appear in the lymph nodes. Fine Needle Aspiration is used to obtain a better understanding prior to any surgery. Surgical removal of the enlarged lymph node is a simple outpatient procedure with a small incision.
Mouth Cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of upper respiratory cancer. It can start anywhere in the nasal cavity, oral cavity, throat, voice box, and upper esophagus. Dr. Slaughter can perform fiberoptic video endoscopy to identify any possible cancer. A biopsy can be performed in the operating room safely to obtain definitive answers. Dr. Slaughter is an expert in the complex surgical procedures to successfully remove squamous carcinoma from the head and neck area. He also works closely with the medical oncologists, radiation therapists, nutritionists, speech pathologists, and the patient’s family as a team effort to attack this disease for the best outcomes.
Many skin cancers arise in the face and neck as they receive so much sun exposure. As a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Slaughter has extensive experience in the successful removal and complex reconstruction.
Dr. Slaughter is an expert in Laryngology (treatment of the diseases of the vocal cords). A tiny fiber-optic scope gives Dr. Slaughter a clear view of the patients vocal folds while in motion. Many non-surgical therapies are effective to treat these conditions. Our Allergy Testing and Treatment Center provides enhanced allergy therapies to relieve vocal issues. Reflux therapy, Botox for spasmodic dysphonia, and speech therapy are all also very effective to assist with these conditions. Minimally invasive procedures can also be successful such as endoscopic removal of vocal cord polyps and nodules.