Health Blog

Welcome to the ongoing series of blog posts from UTMB Health focusing on key aspects of maintaining your health

Performing Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: Treating Oral, Head and Neck Cancers

Many have lost their wisdom in their younger years—their wisdom teeth that is.

For the many individuals who need oral surgery for impacted wisdom teeth or dental implants, there is comfort in finding a skilled surgeon. The physicians in UTMB Health's Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) reliably provide this comfort to many, with expertise that extends far beyond these common cases—they treat patients with head, neck and mouth cancers, injuries due to facial trauma and a wide array of other surgical needs related to the face and mouth.

While most procedures are performed in Galveston or at the Brittany Bay clinic in League City, OMFS patients are also treated at UTMB Health’s hospital campuses in League City and Clear Lake, and the team is on call for facial trauma cases—anything from a simple laceration to a broken jaw. 

Oral, Head and Neck Cancers 

Surgical and technological advances in recent years have led to great improvements in facial reconstruction—something that can be especially important for trauma patients as well as those who have oral, head and neck cancers.

Dr. Hisham Marwan, who joined UTMB Health in 2018, dedicates his practice to treating these patients.

“If the patient has presented with an ulcer, a tongue lesion or a mouth lesion, we have to rule out cancer,” Dr. Marwan says. “If it’s something that can be managed without surgery, then we do that. If it’s cancer we do the full workup, working closely with radiation oncology and medical oncology.”

This includes the surgical removal of the cancerous tumor, followed by the reconstruction of the affected area. Tissue from the arm, leg, back or thigh may be used to immediately reconstruct or replace the missing tissue from the removal.

Technology introduced within the last few years also makes it possible for patients undergoing jaw reconstruction to have what Dr. Marwan calls a “jaw in a day”—this means that if the patient has lost the jawbone, soft tissue, part of the tongue or cheek and teeth, they can undergo surgery to reconstruct all parts in one procedure.

“Five or six years ago, the patient had to undergo more procedures, and the functionality after the surgery was poor,” he says. “Now there is only a small incision in the neck, and everything is done from inside the mouth.”

Dr. Marwan emphasizes that timely treatment of oral cancer is key, as early diagnosis and treatment leads to better outcomes.

Visit our website to learn more about Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at UTMB Health.

ALERT BAR

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