Team of experts
Team of experts
Multidisciplinary Team Approach
San Antonio Head and Neck offers a team approach to patients with head and neck cancer. Research has shown that multidisciplinary team approaches for head and neck patients improve plans for management and outcomes. Our surgical oncologist is fellowship trained in the subspecialty of head and neck cancer surgery while being board-certified in otolaryngology.
Our Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Tumor Conference meets weekly and provides a platform for our surgeon to collaborate with experts in multiple specialties to develop individualized care for each of our patients. These specialists include surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, reconstructive plastic surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, dentists, and speech pathologists.
While working towards a cure, we focus on optimal short and long term functional outcomes so cancer survivors obtain optimal quality of life. As one of the busiest head and neck practices in San Antonio and South Texas, the experience of this head and neck cancer team offers great value in the care of our patients.
Nathan W. Hales, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Born in Utah and raised in Texas, Dr. Hales did his undergraduate studies at Texas A & M University (and remains a very enthusiastic Aggie!). He subsequently completed medical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston where he graduated with honors. He received his residency training in Otolaryngology and subsequent fellowship in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He is Board Certified in Otolaryngology and a fellow of The American College of Surgeons.
Meet Eugene L. Son, M.D.
Eugene L. Son is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist and is fellowship trained in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Advanced Reconstruction. His subspecialty training has enabled him to diagnose and treat all head and neck tumors including ones arising in the thyroid gland and salivary glands. He is also trained in facial plastic reconstruction surgery. The defects he reconstructs vary from smaller skin cancer defects to larger, complex defects from advanced cancers of the head and neck. For these deformities, he is able to perform local tissue rearrangement, regional tissue transfer, as well as microvascular free tissue transfer.
Kristi DeHaan, M.S. CCC/SLP, received her Master of Science degree from Texas State University. Her career as a Speech Language Pathologist spans over 20 years encompassing all aspects of the field. Kristi specializes in voice and swallowing disorders and feels privileged to participate in the rehabilitation of patients with head and neck cancer. Whether providing an individualized swallowing exercise program for a patient preparing for chemoradiation, teaching patients after laryngectomy patient a new way to speak or providing neuromuscular electrical stimulation for a swallowing patient, Kristi is dedicated to providing the highest levels of care and education. Kristi frequently attends conferences, reviews literature and takes part in the weekly Tumor Board meeting to remain current in her field.
Lori Henkener, M.A. CCC/SLP received her BA in Communication Disorders from the University of North Texas and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Saint Louis University. She specializes in voice and swallowing disorders. Lori has been working with head and neck cancer patients for more than 20 years. She is very actively involved with the interdisciplinary Tumor Board that meets weekly and the Support Group for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC). She evaluates and closely follows patients with head and neck cancer as they go through radiation or chemoradiation treatments to help them maintain their swallowing function. Lori’s special interest is with the laryngectomy patients. Improving patients’ quality of life and ability to communicate after surgery is her passion. Lori ensures patients are able to communicate through use of an electrolarynx or through tracheoesophageal speech.
Head & Neck Ultrasound
Ultrasonography is a type of imaging done for a variety of medical purposes. It is used commonly for evaluating head and neck masses and lumps. Ultrasonography can be performed of any type of neck mass whether it is arising in an enlarged lymph node, mass of a salivary gland, mass in the thyroid gland, or enlarged parathyroid glands.
Head and neck ultrasonography is a painless, noninvasive test that has many advantages over CT and MRI scans. It does not require an I.V. nor contrast in the veins. It is also a very safe tool because it uses sound waves and not radiation. This makes it safe in pregnant women and children.
Transoral Robotic Surgery
Transoral robotic surgery is a new cutting-edge technology that allows the surgeon to surgically remove tumors in the throat with a minimally-invasive approach. Developed in the early 2000s, using the Da Vinci Robotic System has been shown to provide very good cancer outcomes as well as decreasing the side effects compared to bigger operations. We are able to use the robot for early stage oropharyngeal and laryngeal cancers. The decision for this type of surgery is very specific to the patient and type of throat cancer. We are available for consultation for this type of surgery; we will also discuss your case at the multidisciplinary head and neck tumor board and have an agreeable plan of care with multiple other head and neck cancer specialists.