Neal Futran, MD, DMD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Head and neck surgery, oral surgery
No question is too small — listening to your needs is central to achieving a successful outcome.”
What has been a significant moment in your career?
In 2016, I worked with a team of physicians to rebuild the upper jaw and hard palate of a patient who had had those structures removed because of oral cancer. Without them, he had difficulty speaking and swallowing. The procedure was unusual; to our knowledge, it had never been performed in the Pacific Northwest. Through 3-D computer modeling and osseointegration — where bone bonds to a titanium implant — we were able to restore the interior of his mouth, his appearance, and his ability to speak and swallow. I enjoyed the collaboration, and it was rewarding to be able to improve this man’s quality of life.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
I am a surgeon who specializes in treating patients with head and neck cancers. My expertise includes microvascular reconstruction (reconnecting blood vessels to transplanted tissue), skull base surgery and the rehabilitation of patients with trauma and complex oncologic issues. In addition to patient care, I have a passion for training the next generation of surgeons. I enjoy teaching worldwide about a variety of topics related to head and neck oncology, reconstruction and craniofacial trauma. Research and leadership are vital parts of my career. I study microvascular reconstruction of the head and neck as well as the molecular profile and genetic analysis of oral cancers. My publications include two textbooks and more than 150 scientific articles. I have served on the editorial teams for the journals JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Head & Neck, and Oral Oncology. Currently, I am a board member of the AO Foundation, a nonprofit committed to improving the care of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.
What is your approach to care and treatment?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my career to be at the forefront of head and neck cancer care and complex reconstruction. For each patient, I aim to minimize discomfort while also restoring form and function to the areas of the head and neck affected by cancer. Regardless of the procedure or diagnosis involved, I believe the ideal patient experience is grounded in shared decision-making, delivery of state-of-the-art care and a focus on maximizing quality of life.
University of Pennsylvania
State University of New York
University of Rochester, Otolaryngology; SUNY Health Science Center, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Mount Sinai Hospital, Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction
Otolaryngology, 1993, American Board of Otolaryngology