Dr. Ralph Gilbert

Rebuilding a face … restoring a life

Dr. Ralph GilbertTreatment for cancers of the head and neck region sometimes requires the expertise of surgeons who are also highly skilled in facial reconstruction. Aggressive tumors can invade skeletal and facial tissue, so removing all of a tumor can sometimes result in disfigurement and impairment. Physicians at The Princess Margaret understand how important it is to patients to maintain their physical appearance.

Dr. Ralph Gilbert is a gifted surgeon and a world leader in the treatment of head and neck cancers. He works with patients to help them maintain the facial characteristics and the functionality that they have lived with and grown accustomed to. The work he does gives a very special meaning to the phrase ‘personalized cancer medicine’.

Joel Binder was initially told he may not be able to use his mouth and jaw following his cancer surgery. As a father of four children and a corporate lawyer, he needed to find a way to maintain his ability to communicate effectively. Dr. Gilbert and his team were able to rebuild his upper jaw by transplanting a portion of his shoulder blade. This technique was conceived and developed at The Princess Margaret and is now used around the world for reconstruction of the facial bones.

Dr. Gilbert and his team evaluate the recovery of their patients for many years to make refinements in their reconstructive techniques that continue to improve the lives of patients afflicted with head and neck cancer. He is a highly sought after international speaker in head and neck reconstruction, publishes extensively and trains surgeons from around the world to do this kind of life-restoring work.