Steven M. Zeitels, MD, FACS

Steven M. Zeitels, MD, FACS

2012 Honoree

Director, Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General Hospital

The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey and Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton are among the grateful patients of Steven Zeitels, MD, FACS, director of the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at Mass General.

Dr. Zeitels has pioneered surgical techniques that treat cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract that optimize breathing, swallowing and vocal functions. “Throughout his inventive and illustrious career, Dr. Zeitels has created breakthroughs in laryngeal surgery that preserve or restore functions essential to the patient’s quality of life,” writes Keith Lillemoe, MD, surgeon-in-chief at Mass General.

Dr. Zeitels directs the most comprehensive post-residency fellowship in laryngeal surgery in the world focused attention on preservation of function in the patients with laryngeal cancer.

Tom Hamilton turned to Dr. Zeitels after a relapse of throat cancer. “My doctors planned major surgery with the probable loss of my voice and ability to eat.”

Dr. Zeitels proposed a simpler method. “A week later, I was on the gurney, terrified. Dr. Zeitels reassured me. He said that I would wake up cancer free. Three hours later I woke and made a noise with my voice. He had preserved my ability to talk — something I will never again take for granted.

Dr. Zeitels stopped by and said, ‘It couldn’t have gone better!’ Many mornings, I wake up with those words in my head.”

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