Inside the Operating Room: The Precision and Skill of a Renowned Head and Neck Surgeon

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Head and neck surgery is a complex field that requires skill and finesse. The area, comprised of numerous critical structures, presents a unique challenge to surgeons. And mastery of this complex anatomy is a fundamental requirement.

“Surgery, in my view, is a blend of art and science. In head and neck surgery, this balance is particularly crucial due to the complex anatomy and vital functions involved,” says Dr. Mariano Sorrentino.

Hailing from Argentina, his journey to the apex of head and neck surgery is a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence.

Dr. Sorrentino’s surgical precision reflects a deep understanding of the interplay between form and function in the human body, not just technical acumen.

Known for his meticulous approach, he says: “Understanding the intricate network of nerves, muscles, and vessels in the head and neck is crucial. Even a millimeter can make a difference between success and compromise.”

Educated at the University of Buenos Aires, Dr. Sorrentino is currently a PGY-3 General Surgery Resident at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and has successfully passed the USMLE and holds an ECFMG certificate.

His professional journey includes a Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship in Buenos Aires and a Microvascular surgery and trans-oral robotic surgery fellowship at Advent Health in Florida.

Dr. Sorrentino has also held surgical positions at prestigious institutions, such as the Trauma Surgeon at Dr. Ramón Carrillo General Hospital and Chief of the Emergency Department at Marie Curie Oncologic Hospital.

As a frontrunner in adopting and refining minimally invasive techniques in his surgeries, he believes there has been an evolution towards these procedures, marked by smaller incisions and less tissue disruption: “They offer significant benefits in terms of reduced recovery times and better cosmetic outcomes, he reveals.

“Our commitment to patient well-being has driven this move towards less invasive techniques. It’s about maximizing therapeutic outcomes while minimizing physical and psychological trauma,” Dr. Sorrentino adds.

As an oncological head and neck surgery expert, Dr. Sorrentino’s expertise shines exceptionally bright. His approach to cancer surgeries balances the need for thorough tumor removal with the preservation of function and appearance: “Each oncological case is a unique puzzle,” he says.

“The goal is to eradicate the disease while maintaining as much of the patient’s normal function and appearance as possible.”

When it comes post-tumor removal or trauma, Dr. Sorrentino adds that reconstructive surgery plays a crucial role: “It is essential to restore a sense of normalcy for patients as soon as possible.”

He adds that he finds “reconstructive surgery deeply rewarding: “It’s not just about physical rebuilding; it’s about restoring confidence and quality of life,” he remarks.

“My values in surgery center around integrity, empathy, responsibility, a continuous learning mindset, and humility. I never assume I know everything and always see room for improvement.”

Microsurgery, which involves delicate and precise surgical maneuvers under a microscope, is another area in which Dr. Sorrentino is dexterous and controlled.

In such procedures, a steady hand and a deep understanding of the human body’s delicacy are critical, especially when working around vital nerves and blood vessels.

Dr. Sorrentino is highly skilled in this area, having sutured blood vessels together in one example of his expertise: “Microsurgery requires a steady hand and an acute eye. It’s a skill honed over years of practice and dedication. I am very passionate about it and I am continuously learning about it so I can improve,” he notes.

Beyond his surgical prowess, Dr. Sorrentino is known for his holistic approach to patient care: “Surgery is just one part of the patient’s journey. Understanding their needs, fears, and expectations is essential for successful outcomes,” he believes.

“I pride myself on a strong patient-doctor relationship. Being warm, empathetic, and engaged with patients is essential to me. This approach doesn’t compromise my objectivity in surgery but improves patient outcomes.”

In robotic surgery, the surgeon is actively involved in incorporating advanced robotic systems to enhance surgical precision: “Robotic surgery represents the next frontier in minimally invasive procedures. It offers enhanced precision, flexibility, and control,” he says.

In addition to his clinical and surgical contributions, Dr. Sorrentino is dedicated to educating and mentoring the next generation of surgeons.

As an experienced educator, Dr. Sorrentino has taught surgery at several medical schools in Argentina, fostering the development of future medical professionals.

Active in surgical research and academia, the renowned surgeon has published peer-reviewed articles and regularly presents at surgical conferences. As an active member of the Argentine Association of Surgery, he is involved in the Trans-oral Robotic Course Chapter and the innovative symposium in the 2024 head and neck annual congress.

Dr. Sorrentino has also contributed to surgical education by creating instructional videos for the Liverpool Head and Neck Center.

“Imparting knowledge and skills to young surgeons is critical. It’s about ensuring the continuity of high standards in patient care,” he emphasizes.

Board-certified in Argentina and licensed to practice in Florida, Dr. Sorrentino maintains memberships in various medical associations, reflecting his dedication to surgical excellence and commitment to continuous professional development.

They include the Municipal Physicians Association (AMM), Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Association for the Study of Internal Fixation (AOCMF) Medicine and the Argentinian Association of Surgery Member (MAAC).

He is also a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the Florida Duval County Medical Society and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Dr. Scott Magnuson, MD, serves as an Otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon at AdventHealth in Orlando, Florida.

He became acquainted with Dr. Sorrentino during the latter’s involvement in a U.S.-based travel observation fellowship, which focused on cancer surgery. Subsequently, upon Dr. Sorrentino’s return to Argentina, he sought and secured an international fellowship position within the AdventHealth American Head and Neck Society’s esteemed fellowship program.

“Dr. Sorrentino met the challenges of adapting to the different training and standards required in the U.S. with ease,” says Dr. Magnuson.

“He worked diligently to raise his skills to the level of his American peers. Dr. Sorrentino is also dedicated and skilled in complex surgeries, which not all doctors can perform.

“Regarding patient care, he was remarkable. He even practiced independently on his own time to improve his skills.

“His dexterity in complex surgical procedures like suturing blood vessels under a microscope impressed everyone, including the chairman at Mayo Clinic during his application process.”

In conclusion, and looking towards the future, Dr. Sorrentino is optimistic about head and neck surgery advancements. “We are moving towards more personalized and precision-based treatments. The future holds exciting possibilities for improved patient outcomes,” he says.

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