Head and Neck Pathology AND Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology 

HEAD AND NECK PATHOLOGY
The Head and Neck Pathology Section at Houston Methodist Hospital provides expert interpretation and analysis of a wide range of pathologic entities, representing the full spectrum of surgical pathology and cytopathology diagnoses relating to otolaryngologic and dental surgery specimens. Our group has a strong collaborative relationship with our otolaryngologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists and actively participates in the monthly head and neck pathology tumor board at Houston Methodist Hospital. These tumor boards provide multidisciplinary discussion of patient diagnosis, management and treatment, which helps guide optimal patient care.

Diagnosing cancers of the head and neck is often challenging, which is why Houston Methodist’s Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine provides consultation services. Knowing the exact type and stage of a tumor is important in choosing the most effective therapy for patients. We provide consultation services for pathology cases sent to us from pathologists or clinicians, both inside and outside the Houston Methodist system.

We provide second opinions on fine needle aspiration, biopsy, and resection material from the full range of head and neck lesions and tumors:
  • Oral cavity
  • Sino-nasal and naso-pharyngeal
  • Larynx
  • Ear
  • Salivary glands
  • Thyroid and parathyroid
  • Lymph nodes
  • Skin
  • Soft tissue and bone
  • Oral-maxillofacial

The faculty members conduct clinical research in the fields of cytopathology and surgical pathology. The group has published a comprehensive cytopathology textbook as well as numerous scientific articles.

Medical education is a key component to the services provided. The department offers an ACGME accredited one-year cytopathology fellowship that includes extensive experience performing fine needle aspirations from head and neck sites. We have an ultrasound machine available to assist in determining aspiration sites for difficult cases.

Our Head and Neck Tumor Board faculty:
Michael Thrall, MD

Our Fine Needle Aspiration faculty:
Rose Anton, MD
Mojgan Amrikachi, MD
Donna Coffey, MD
Yimin Ge, MD
Blythe Gorman, MD
Susan Haley, MD
Ross Miller, MD
Dina Mody, MD
Nour Sneige, MD
Michael Thrall, MD

Physicians and physician offices: 
For questions about pathology reports, please call:
Ms. Rosie Benitez
HMH Anatomic Pathology Physician and Patient Services
Office: 713.441.1447
Ms. Benitez can transfer you to the pathologist of record. 

For questions about sending consultations from outside the Houston Methodist system:
Ms. Rachel Mata
AP Administrative Support
Office: 713.441.6482 

To schedule a fine needle biopsy, please call 713.441.1447. Please see the FNA page for more information on this service.

BONE AND SOFT TISSUE PATHOLOGY
Last year department pathologists reviewed almost 110 cases of primary bone or soft tissue tumors in our hospital. The core of physicians of the bone and soft tissue tumor group includes Dr. Alberto Ayala (pathologist), Dr. Rex Marco and his physician assistant Jerry Buchert (orthopedist), Dr. John Labis (radiologist), Drs. Garth Beinart and Daniel Lehane (oncologists), and Dr. Brian Butler (radiation oncologist). Additional pathologists within our department with expertise in bone and soft tissue tumors include Dr. Michael Deavers, Dr. Jae Ro, Dr. Mukul Divatia and Dr. Dina Mody.

Bone and soft tissue tumor board
The bone and soft tissue management tumor board meets once a month to review interesting and/or challenging cases. Clinicians present their cases, a radiologist reviews the pertinent radiologic findings, and the pathologist reviews the diagnosis. A discussion follows to render the best management for the patient. Other physicians of Methodist hospital are encouraged to attend and also present their cases. Thus, patients with metastatic disease in the bones are commonly presented at this tumor board for evaluation and best available management strategies. We provide illustrations of the pathology findings including gross- and micro-photographs, which are available to the clinicians to copy and use for conferences. We also work closely with the cytology service and encourage the use of core needle biopsies to expedite the diagnosis.

Because Houston Methodist Hospital is an academic medical center, we are heavily involved in teaching and research. Many of our faculty and residents present their research findings at local, regional, and national meetings.