HealthLinks Charleston March/April 2023

66 | www. Char l es tonPhys i c i ans . com | www.Hea l thL i nksChar l es ton . com With tears of thankfulness and surprise, 32-year-old Sarah Pieper and her family were recently treated to a red-carpet celebration and caregiver reunion at Trident Medical Center. For the mother of three, which includes her healthy infant son, the day was in doubt seven months earlier. It was at that time she was eight weeks pregnant and diagnosed by the experienced surgeons at Head & Neck Specialists with an aggressive cancer on her tongue. Holding her baby just a few minutes after the celebration, Sarah said, “There were times I didn’t think I would make it to his birthday. This celebration brings forth a lot of emotions. All are good ones.” Sarah and her baby’s story of survival includes the determined work of Head & Neck Specialists radiation oncologist Anand Sharma, MD, and head and neck surgeons David Neskey, MD, FACS and Peter Horwich, MD, FRCSC, alongside Trident Cancer Center physicists Frank Pazik, DABR, and Michael Ohm, DABR. Through their combined expertise, a plan was developed that allowed Sarah to safely receive lifesaving surgery and radiation while protecting her unborn child. For Head & Neck Specialists surgeon Terry Day, MD, FACS, Sarah’s story of recovery highlights the team’s approach to multidisciplinary, patient-centered care that he and his colleagues have provided for more than 25 years. Dr. Day is currently the national director of head and neck oncology at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, inaugural chair of the South Carolina Cancer Alliance and a former president of the American Head and Neck Society. “I believe one of the key aspects of our practice is the personalized attention from our multidisciplinary team that each patient receives. And the close communication between our team and the patient’s hometown doctors from around the United States provides realistic and comprehensive care that is customized to each patient’s needs,” Dr. Day said. The physicians at Head & Neck Specialists provide innovative and compassionate treatment for advanced, recurrent and complex head and neck cancers, cancers that were treated but didn’t go away and cancers that spread to other parts of the body. Head & Neck Specialists and the multidisciplinary team of surgeons, radiation doctors, dentists and speech therapists, who are all in one location, provide the latest treatment for complicated cancers of the head and neck region, including those of skin, mouth, throat, sinuses and nose, thyroid and parathyroid glands. Treatments include the use of advanced minimally-invasive robotic surgery for HPV-related throat cancer, which is described as an epidemic in the United States. Head and neck surgeon Jeffrey Houlton, MD, explained, “Our team has experts in transoral robotic surgery (TORS) to remove cancers in the mouth and throat, in which a sophisticated, computer-enhanced system is used to guide the surgical tools. TORS gives the surgeon an enhanced view of the cancer and surrounding tissue. We also have surgeons who specialize in complex microvascular reconstruction, which uses 3D modeling.” Some aspects of cancer care can be done locally in the patient’s hometown. But, according to Dr. Neskey, “They STATE-OF-THE-ART CARE FOR PATIENTS WITH HEAD AND NECK CANCER By Rod Whiting Trident Medical Center held a red carpet celebration for head and neck cancer survivor, 32-year-old Sarah Pieper. SPONSORED MEDICAL CONTENT