Rahmatullah W. Rahmati, MD, MPH, is a board-certified head and neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of head and neck cancers, salivary gland disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea.
He is highly skilled in minimally invasive surgical approaches to some of the most delicate areas in the body. “The head and neck region contains critical anatomy—in particular, nerves and blood vessels that course between the brain and the chest,” Dr. Rahmati explains. “As head and neck surgeons, we often operate around critical nerves and vascular structures. When we’re operating in the neck, for example, there are nerves that control your voice and swallow function. Preservation of those structures is absolutely crucial.”
Innovations in surgical technologies have transformed the way we care for patients, says Dr. Rahmati. He uses robotics, endoscopes, image guidance, implantable nerve stimulators, and microsurgery with lasers in the treatment of conditions in the head and neck region. He notes that minimally invasive approaches are now bringing traditional approaches to treating disease into the office setting. “Other important technologies such as robotics provide access to challenging anatomical regions, and nerve-stimulating technologies are expanding treatment options for severe sleep apnea,” Dr. Rahmati says.
Dr. Rahmati, in collaboration with members of the Head & Neck Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital, carefully determines a customized treatment plan, incorporating an evidence-based model of cancer care utilizing cutting-edge surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Patients receiving treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital have access to numerous trials, offering new and innovative solutions to challenging cancers.
At Yale Medicine, Dr. Rahmati is one of only two surgeons who specialize in complex salivary gland disease. He uses minimally invasive surgery to treat salivary stones in addition to various other problems that can prevent the flow of saliva, resulting in swelling, pain, and infection of the salivary glands. While most conditions affecting these glands can generally be managed medically, Dr Rahmati treats more difficult cases using miniaturized instruments that enable access to the glands through ducts inside the mouth.
Dr. Rahmati says he enjoys ENT (ear, nose, and throat) because “it is one of those wonderful and unique surgical subspecialties where you’re not only a surgeon, you’re a physician as well. Often, I tell my patients that this will be a lifelong relationship. Once we’ve established that relationship, our visits become more of a social interaction, which is really nice.”
Dr. Rahmati has received notable awards and recognition for his clinical skills and is an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Yale School of Medicine.