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The Art and Science of Head and Neck Surgery: Balancing Technical Skill with Patient Care



The intricate realm of head and neck surgery is when precision meets compassion.

It demands exceptional technical skills and a profound understanding of patient care. 

Dr. Mariano Sorrentino embodies this balance with his exemplary expertise and empathetic approach: “In head and neck surgery, every incision, every suture is a brushstroke in a delicate masterpiece. Precision is not just desired; it is required,” he says.

Head and neck surgery encompasses a range of procedures, from removing benign tumors to reconstructive surgeries post-cancer treatment. 

Dr. Sorrentino’s finesse in these procedures is notable: “The head and neck region is a complex interface of functionality and aesthetics. Our job is to ensure the integrity of both,” he explains.

Trained at the University of Buenos Aires, the esteemed surgeon is currently a PGY-3 General Surgery Resident at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. He was also certified by the ECFMG after completing the USMLE.

He has also completed a residency and chief residency in General Surgery at Hospital General de Agudos Dr. Enrique Tornu and a Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship at Marie Curie Oncologic Hospital.

Dr. Sorrentino’s dedication to medical excellence is evident from his outstanding performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and his successful acquisition of the ECFMG certificate. 

Further highlighting his skills, Dr. Sorrentino completed a Head and Neck Surgical Oncology fellowship at Advent Health in Celebration, Florida. 

During this fellowship, he specialized in Microvascular Surgery and Transoral Robotic Surgery, where he developed significant proficiency and expertise.

When carrying out thyroid and parathyroid surgeries, often fraught with potential complications, Dr. Sorrentino uses minimally invasive techniques, to reduce the impact on the patient’s body and expedite recovery: “Minimally invasive doesn’t mean minimal impact. On the contrary, these approaches can have profound, positive effects on the patient’s recovery and quality of life,” he states.

Reconstructive surgery is another area where Dr. Sorrentino excels. His work with patients recovering from cancer or traumatic injuries involves not only physical restoration but also restoring confidence and normalcy.

“Reconstructive surgery is an art form. It’s about understanding the individual’s unique contours and reconstructing not just physical features but a sense of self,” Dr. Sorrentino reflects.

Dr. Sorrentino often draws parallels between surgery and art in discussing his work: “Like an artist, a surgeon must have a keen eye for detail, a steady hand, and an understanding of the broader canvas,” he says. This artistic sensibility is evident in his meticulous care in planning and executing each procedure.

Beyond his technical skills, what sets Dr. Sorrentino apart is his patient-centered philosophy: “Surgery is as much about science as it is about people. Understanding the patient’s concerns, fears, and hopes is crucial,” he notes. 

This empathetic approach ensures that each treatment plan is tailored to the individual’s medical and emotional needs.

Dr. Sorrentino is also deeply committed to education and advocacy in his field. He regularly shares his knowledge and insights with his peers. 

Since July 2021, he has led the Trans-oral Robotic Surgery (TORS) chapter for the Argentinian Association of Surgery’s annual course. 

Dr. Sorrentino expertly crafted the curriculum to include the latest advancements and best practices in TORS, encompassing key aspects like patient selection, surgical techniques, and outcome assessments. 

His efforts include developing engaging educational materials and organizing guest lectures and live demos to enhance learning.

At the Liverpool Head and Neck Center, University of Liverpool, UK, Dr. Sorrentino has played a crucial role in creating detailed surgical instructional videos on TORS, serving as vital educational tools for medical professionals.

Furthermore, the surgeon has shared his TORS expertise as an invited speaker at various institutions, including a notable presentation at Hospital Adventista de Entre Rios Grand Rounds in April 2024. 

He is scheduled to speak at Hospital Rivadavia de Buenos Aires Grand Rounds in October 2024, continuing to introduce new surgical technologies.

Dr. Sorrentino is an active member of multiple prestigious medical associations, reflecting his commitment to the surgical field and professional growth, including the American College of Surgeons and the American Medical Association since 2023.

Furthermore, his contributions to 11 research publications have enabled significant advances in head and neck surgery: “Education is a cornerstone of medical progress. By sharing our knowledge and experiences, we can collectively elevate patient care,” he believes.

Looking towards the future, Dr. Sorrentino remains optimistic and excited about the potential advancements in his field: “The intersection of technology and medicine is continually evolving. What was once thought impossible is now within our reach,” he says, referring to the ongoing developments in robotic surgery and 3D printing in reconstructive procedures.

Dr. Jorge H. Lanatta, MAAC is the Chief Guard with Extraordinary Functions at the María Curié Municipal Oncological Hospital in  Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

He is also the Hierarchical Specialist at the Surgical Clinic of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He has known Dr. Sorrentino for over 10 years since he joined as a specialist in General Surgery with Head and Neck as a subspecialty at the 

Hospital General de Agudos Dr. Enrique Tornu, University of Buenos Aires, School of Medicine.

Dr. Lanatta says: “Dr. Sorrentino is the consummate professional as well as being kind and supportive to patients and colleagues. He has been outstanding in his service for the time he has been practicing his profession.

“During our time together, he has seen many patients treated both in the office and the operating room. He has had excellent results and an impeccable record.”

Dr. Lanatta recalls a case when he saw Dr. Sorrentino’s skills demonstrated: “The mastery of surgical skill is a product of considerable time and unwavering dedication. 

“There was a time when our surgical schedules overlapped in separate operating rooms, and I had the opportunity to witness Dr. Sorrentino performing microsurgical procedures. 

“His work was marked by an impressive sense of calm, exceptional quality, and determination—rare qualities in such challenging scenarios.

“Additionally, I’ve been involved in events where patient cases are presented, culminating in proposing a tailored surgical approach and strategy for each case.”

In the dynamic and challenging field of head and neck surgery, Dr. Sorrentino stands as a paragon of excellence, where the precision of science and the empathy of art converge. 

His commitment to advancing surgical techniques and his dedication to patient care sets a benchmark in the medical community. 

As Dr. Sorrentino continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, his work transforms lives and inspires a new generation of surgeons. In the nexus of art and science that is head and neck surgery, 

His legacy is one of innovation, compassion, and unwavering dedication to improving patient health and well-being.

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