Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment at the head and neck cancer reconstruction service.

Before your reconstructive surgery

Before a plan for reconstruction surgery can be finalised, you may need additional scans, for example, of your legs to find appropriate areas of bone or tissue for a graft or free tissue transfer.

In addition, you will be seen by a speech and language therapist, prosthetist and dietician to support you through your treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. You will also be introduced to one of our clinical nurse specialists who will be your 'key worker' and point of contact for support and help throughout your treatment.

Your reconstructive surgery

Your surgery will take place at Charing Cross Hospital and the operation is likely to take four to 12 hours, depending on the complexity of the surgery. After your operation you will be looked after on our joint plastic surgery and ENT ward, where you will be seen daily by your consultant and a diet will slowly be re-introduced. You can expect to be in hospital for one to three weeks following your operation.

After your reconstructive surgery

Follow-up treatment will be provided at the joint head and neck ENT clinic, or if more appropriate at one of our specific speciality clinics. Ongoing rehabilitation and support will also be provided by our speech and language therapists and dieticians as required.

Patient facilities/resources

As part of the Macmillan Cancer Support and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust partnership, we’ve introduced the Macmillan cancer navigators service. Macmillan navigators offer a single phone contact for all cancer patients. They can help with booking appointments, accessing local support services and finding answers to any questions. Please call the Macmillan navigators team with any questions you have about your cancer care.