Clarence T. Sasaki, MD, is a head and neck cancer surgeon and laryngologist with an international reputation. He developed Yale Medicine’s Head & Neck Cancer Program, and has a widely based referral practice for tumors of the ear, throat, neck, and sinuses.
Dr. Sasaki has found one of the biggest advantages of treating head and neck patients at a center like Yale is the opportunity to gather input from a variety of highly trained specialists. “The recommendation that we give the patient is a distillation of what we think is best,” he says. That typically means a personalized treatment plan focused on a minimally invasive surgery that is most likely to cure the cancer while preserving the delicate and critical structures of the face, head, and neck responsible for breathing, facial expressions, hearing, speaking, and swallowing.
A professor of otolaryngology at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Sasaki traveled the world to learn new surgical skills and techniques for treating head and neck cancer. His work in physiological research of the larynx, or voice box, and its function has spanned 40 years, and made an impact on the understanding of both normal and altered physiology of the larynx. Doctors consider his textbook on the topic to be a classic and have described him as the preeminent laryngeal physiologist of our time.
“If we’re going to impact patient care in any significant way, I think it has to come from research,” Dr. Sasaki says. “I don’t think it comes from just daily treatment of patients without any questions being asked.”
Dr. Sasaki has been included in lists of top doctors in Connecticut and the United States. “I enjoy the challenges of the operating room, and I like to see patients recover from their surgery and go on to enjoy fruitful lives,” he says.