Saral Mehra, MD, MBA, FACS
Saral Mehra, MD, MBA, FACS, is a Yale Medicine surgeon who treats patients with head and neck cancers, sometimes performing complex microsurgeries that take many hours. When appropriate, he also uses the Da Vinci surgical robot and the laser to perform surgical tumor removal in hard-to-reach areas of the throat, with less morbidity than traditional approaches. In addition, he runs the salivary endoscopy program at Yale. Because of his widely recognized expertise, he treats patients with complex salivary disease who are sent to him from all over the state. Dr. Mehra provides minimally invasive treatment of salivary gland and duct problems, including salivary stones, using tiny scopes. He is able to perform these procedures without making any external incisions. “I use minimally invasive techniques for cancer and non-cancerous problems whenever possible, and I implement the latest in reconstructive surgery to optimize form and function,” he says.
Whatever problem he is treating, Dr. Mehra notes that be believes in spending time with patients to explain their condition and let them know that they are not alone is a key element in compassionate care. “When talking about a new diagnosis of cancer, I like to take the time to discuss the work-up, treatment, functional recovery and surveillance plan—this helps alleviate some of the fear of the unknown. It’s satisfying to look at the faces of a patient and their family when they go from being frightened of a new diagnosis to understanding the journey they are about to embark upon.”
Dr. Mehra says he enjoys being a physician for Yale Medicine because the practice has so many patients with complex head and neck tumors and patients who need reconstruction. “With high volume comes processes and systems that lead to better outcomes for patients,” he says.
He often works collaboratively as a member of a team that includes other surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists, as well as nurses, therapists, social workers and patient coordinators. “For patients who are to undergo surgery, the consultations, meetings and case review are all preparation for the big event—surgery—where, again, I put a team together to get the best patient outcomes,” he says.
Dr. Mehra is an Associate Professor of Surgery (Otolaryngology), and Chief of the Section of Head and Neck Surgery within the Division of Otolaryngology at Yale School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery, where he and his team of surgeons select one surgeon each year to train into their specialty, with trainees leading successful practices across the United States and world.
In addition to cancer and reconstructive surgery, he researches ways to improve the process of delivering cancer care. “This is important work, because we know that whenever we can improve upon the ways that we deliver cancer care, the better our outcomes will be,” he says.
- Associate Professor of Surgery (Otolaryngology)
- Section Chief, Head and Neck Surgery, Otolaryngology Surgery
- Director, Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship, Surgery
Education & Training
- FellowshipMount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center (2013)
- ResidencyNew York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia/Cornell) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2012)
- InternshipNew York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia/Cornell) (2008)
- MBAColumbia Business School (2007)
- MDColumbia Medical School (2007)
- BSQueen's University (2002)
- Español (Spanish)