Your Care Team
Head & Neck Surgery
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Our team develops treatment plans that provide the best chance for curing head and neck tumors while also focusing on preservation of the critical functions of speech, swallowing, and communication.
We work closely with a broad array of specialists, including experts in medical oncology, radiation oncology, endocrinology, speech language pathology, pathology, radiology, nuclear medicine, psychology and psychiatry, and dental oncology.
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Chair of Quality, Patient Safety, and Effectiveness Committee at Stanford Health Care, Medical Director of Quality at Stanford Cancer Center, Director of the Head & Neck Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery Program, Fellowship Director of Head & Neck Surgery
Dr. Vasu Divi specializes in the treatment of head and neck cancer, both as a cancer surgeon and a reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Divi has a special interest in high-risk and advanced skin cancers, oral cavity cancers, and osteoradionecrosis of the head and neck. He utilizes advanced 3D-modeling to customize reconstruction of the jaw following surgery for cancer or radiation injuries.
Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Director of the Head & Neck Oncology Program (Stanford Cancer Center) Director of OHNS Robotics
Dr. Chris Holsinger is Professor of Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford University. His research focuses on surgical innovation and clinical trials. He serves as surgical principal investigator for RTOG920 and coordinated surgeon-credentialing for ECOG 3311, a prospective clinical trial to study robotic head and neck surgery. In 2019, he published the results of an investigative device exemption clinical study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a next-generation robotic surgical system for head and neck cancer. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Surgical TaskForce of the NRG Oncology's Head and Neck Committee. His interests extend beyond robotics, however, and include new technologies for augmenting the vision of surgeons and incorporating computer vision and deep learning into routine surgical practice. Current algorithms in computer vision and pattern recognition have transformed how we interact with the world using our smart phones. Dr Holsinger’s research group aims to deliver these advantages to patient and their surgeons by providing real-time intelligence about surgical anatomy that extends beyond human vision. In 2018, work from a prospective clinical trial demonstrated the feasibility of using multispectral imaging of patients with oropharyngeal cancer, in an effort to better identify tumor margins, as well as to evaluate hyper-spectral imaging to improve surgical vision. Recently, he co-founded Photonic Medical Technologies to translate these innovations into practice for open surgery. Dr. Holsinger received his medical degree from Vanderbilt School of Medicine, completed his internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine and his Fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. In 2003, he was awarded Fulbright Scholarship to study surgery at the University of Paris with Professor Ollivier Laccourreye and with Professor Wolfgang Steiner at the Georg-August University in Göttingen. From 2003-2013, Dr. Holsinger worked at the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where he founded and led the Program in Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Head and Neck Surgery and co-directed the program in Minimally Invasive Technology in Oncologic Surgery. In 2013, Dr. Holsinger moved to Stanford University, where at the Cancer Center led H&N Multidisciplinary Cancer Care Clinical Program for the next 5 years. Dr. Holsinger’s surgical practice focuses on the surgical management of thyroid as well as head and neck cancer. His areas of research interest include endoscopic head and neck surgery, including transoral robotic surgery and transoral laser microsurgery, as well as time-honoured approaches of conservation laryngeal surgery and supracricoid partial laryngectomy. Currently, he directs Head Neck Surgical Oncology at the Stanford Cancer Center. Board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, Dr. Holsinger is a member of numerous societies including the American College of Surgeons, American Head and Neck Society, the American Thyroid Association, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Clinical Instructorship Director of the Endocrine Surgery, Director of the Endocrine Head and Neck Surgery Program (Stanford Cancer Center)
Lisa A. Orloff, MD, FACS, FACE, is Director of the Endocrine Head & Neck Surgery Program and Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Division of Head & Neck Surgery, at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is Director of the Stanford Thyroid Tumor Program within the Stanford Cancer Center. Her clinical practice focuses on the surgical management of thyroid and parathyroid tumors and disorders. Dr. Orloff is an internationally recognized leader in the field of endocrine head and neck surgery. She is also an expert in the application of ultrasonography to the diagnosis and management of diseases of the head and neck, with an emphasis on thyroid cancer. Dr. Orloff performs minimally invasive ultrasound-guided procedures such as radiofrequency ablation for the nonsurgical management of appropriate thyroid pathology. Her background in microvascular and laryngeal surgical techniques lends a unique level of refinement to her endocrine surgical practice. A major component of her clinical work is the management of persistent or recurrent thyroid cancer. Dr. Orloff’s multidisciplinary approach to the management of endocrine head and neck disease involves collaboration with her colleagues in other specialties at Stanford and throughout the country. Dr. Orloff also studies the regeneration of tissue that has been lost as a result of cancer therapies. Dr. Orloff received her bachelor’s degree at Stanford, and her medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her residency in Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Washington and a visiting fellowship in Microvascular & Reconstructive Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, she was the Robert K. Werbe Distinguished Professor in Head & Neck Cancer, and Chief of the Division of Head & Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF.) Dr. Orloff served three consecutive terms as the Chair of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Endocrine Surgery committee, and served for many years as a voting member of the FDA’s Panel to evaluate medical devices for Otolaryngology. She holds leadership roles within the American Head and Neck Society, the American Thyroid Association, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and the American College of Surgeons. She is co-chair of the ACS Thyroid, Parathyroid, and Neck Ultrasound training program and a member of the ACS National Ultrasound Faculty executive board. She is also a member of such influential teams as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) steering committee on Thyroid Cancer Clinical Trials and the Endocrine Surgery Committee of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE). She authored the leading textbook, Head and Neck Ultrasonography (Plural Publishing), as a reference for clinicians; the second edition was published in 2017. Dr. Orloff is a former Fulbright scholar.
Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Director of the Salivary Gland Surgery Program
Dr. Sirjani graduated from the University of Arizona with Honors in Biochemistry and was awarded the most outstanding senior award for the college of sciences and the Centennial Achievement Award. He matriculated to the University of Arizona School of Medicine on the Dean’s Scholarship. He completed a residency in Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis and a fellowship in Head and Neck Cancer and Microvascular reconstruction at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2009. He joined the Division of Head and Neck Surgery in 2009 and, since 2012, has also served as Chief of Otolaryngology at the VA in Palo Alto. Dr. Sirjani has pioneered the use of telemedicine to provide complicated head and neck cancer care to remote VA satellite across the Pacific and Mountwaint West. Under his leadership, the Stanford VA has become a premier hub for head and neck cancer care in the West Coast. As the director of the salivary program at Stanford since 2013, Dr. Sirjani’s practice is focused on minimally invasive parotidectomy. He was the first surgeon at Stanford to offer patients sialendoscopy. His research interests include innovations in minimizing morbidity from parotid cancer treatment. Dr. Sirjani’s research interests focus on surgical simulation and surgical innovation. He invented the only partoidectomy surgical simulator in the country, which is funded by CIMIT and used to teach other surgeons about the tension placed on the facial nerve during Parotidectomy. Stanford is now a primary center for the treatment of salivary related cancers. Dr. Sirjani incorporates new innovations, basic science research, and his high volume of operative experience to tailor operations to best suite the patient.
Clinical Associate Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Director of the Head and Neck Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation Program at Stanford Cancer Center
Heather Starmer is a Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation Center. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford University, Heather served as the lead of the head and neck cancer rehabilitation program at Johns Hopkins University. Heather graduated from California State University at Long Beach in 1998 with a BA in Communicative Disorders. She earned her MA from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. She completed her fellowship at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Pittsburgh with a focus in head and neck cancer and rehabilitation of swallowing disorders. Heather specializes in the rehabilitation of speech, voice, and swallowing in patients with head and neck cancer. She has particular interest in prevention of communication and swallowing disorders associated with radiation and chemotherapy. She has a strong interest in head and neck cancer survivorship and helping patients to accomplish their personal goals and to optimize their quality of life long term. She is a board certified specialist in swallowing disorders. Heather’s academic goals include improving communication and swallowing outcomes following a diagnosis of head and neck cancer through clinical research. She was a key member of a collaborative research group at Johns Hopkins resulting in multiple publications and presentations on strategies to minimize speech and swallowing difficulties. Recent advances in pain management during radiation therapy developed by this research collaborative have already shown great promise in protecting patients from potential swallowing difficulties during and after their cancer treatment. She works closely with colleagues in surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology to tackle the often difficult problems encountered by patients with head and neck cancer. She has particular interest in investigating the role of innovative surgical techniques such as Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) in minimizing long term functional deficits. Heather is involved in the education of future speech pathologists as well as residents and fellows in the Otolaryngology program. She regularly lectures on issues regarding rehabilitation of patients with head and neck cancer at multiple universities as well as at the national level. She is a member of multiple professional societies including the American Speech Language Hearing Association, the Dysphagia Research Society, and the American Head and Neck Society.
Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery and, by courtesy, of Dermatology, Chief of Head & Neck Surgery Director of Head & Neck Cancer Research
Dr. Sunwoo was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed his training in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Washington University. Dr. Sunwoo has been at Stanford University since 2008, and his clinical focus is on the surgical management of head and neck cancer, specifically focusing on melanoma and neoplasms of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. He is a member of the Pigmented Lesions and Melanoma Clinic and the Melanoma Working Group at Stanford. He is also the co-founder of the Stanford Thyroid and Parathyroid Tumor Board. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Sunwoo is the Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research at Stanford University and the principal investigator of an NIH-funded laboratory in the Stanford Cancer Institute. His research is focused on three primary areas: (1) the immune response to cancer, particularly a tumorigenic population of cells within malignancies called cancer stem cells; (2) the biology and developmental programs of a special lymphocyte population involved in innate immunity called natural killer (NK) cells; and (3) intra-tumor and inter-tumor heterogeneity in head and neck cancer.
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery
Dr. Baik is Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at Stanford University. He provides comprehensive surgical care for patients with head and neck cancer, both as an ablative and reconstructive surgeon. His clinical interests include oral cavity cancer, complex skin cancer, microvascular reconstruction and the diagnosis and management of nodal metastasis. With his background in fluorescence imaging, Dr. Baik’s research focuses on surgical navigation using targeted agents to improve tumor margin assessment and the detection of nodal metastasis, and he currently leads several clinical trials to translate novel imaging techniques. Dr. Baik graduated with honors in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and received his medical degree at UC San Diego. After completing his Otolaryngology residency at the University of Washington, he pursued advanced training in Head and Neck Oncology & Reconstructive Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. He is a board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, and a member of the American Head and Neck Society, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Clinical Instructor, Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery Divisions
Dr. Finegersh is a fellowship-trained head and neck surgical oncologist with board certification in otolaryngology and a clinical assistant professor with the Stanford School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology. He specializes in treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck and has received additional training in microvascular reconstruction and transoral robotic surgery. He takes tremendous pride in providing compassionate care for patients and managing challenging diagnoses. Dr. Finegersh completed his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's combined Medical Scientist Training Program. He went on to complete residency in otolaryngology at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and his fellowship at Stanford University, where he stayed on as faculty. He has extensive research experience in head and neck cancer epigenetics and completed post-doctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh and UCSD. He has received grants from the NIH and American Academy of Otolaryngology and has an active research lab studying molecular mechanisms of cancer. Dr. Finegersh has additional clinical interests in studying the role of minimally invasive surgery to improve outcomes for head and neck cancer patients.
Jocelen Hamilton, MA, CCC-SLP
Clinical Instructor, Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery Divisions
Jennifer Kizner, MEd, CCC-SLP, BCS-S
Clinical Associate Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery