Dr. Robert Zitsch, a head and neck cancer surgeon, treats patients with various types of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors involving the head and neck area that include the mouth, throat, neck, sinuses and skin. He also treats tumors of the skin such as melanoma as well as abnormal conditions involving the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands and the salivary glands. During his career, Dr. Zitsch has performed many surgical cases for thyroid abnormalities including cancer, parathyroid disorders, melanoma of the neck, face and scalp, and the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy for oral cancers.

Education & Training

Medical School

University of Alabama School of Medicine Birmingham


Surgery (General Surgery)

  • Carraway Methodist Medical Center



  • University of Alabama School of Medicine


Otolaryngology, Head And Neck Surgery

  • University of Cincinnati Medical Center


American Board of Otolaryngology


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Academic Information

Professor of Otolaryngology
William E. Davis, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery

Research Profile

Dr. Robert Zitsch’s research efforts have been primarily focused on the clinical diagnosis and management of head and neck oncologic diseases including those affecting the cutaneous and endocrine systems. This has included a number of investigator-initiated prospective and retrospective clinical trials. Dr. Zitsch’s most recent efforts have involved benign and malignant neoplasms involving the thyroid and parathyroid glands, malignancies of the oral cavity and cutaneous melanoma of the head and neck. In addition, Dr. Zitsch has served as an investigator for industry-sponsored clinical trials including the Roche Navify Tumor Board Project, a registry involving chronic hyper-parathyroidism patients, a study of molecular profiling for indeterminate thyroid nodules, and a trial involving a new diagnostic pharmaceutical for sentinel lymph node biopsy.

Dr. Zitsch has over 100 research publications including full manuscripts, book chapters and research abstracts. Most of these are the result of studies conducted at the University of Missouri, and several of them have led to improved treatment for lip cancer, oral cancer, thyroid cancer and melanoma.

Research Interests

  • Clinical diagnosis and management of head and neck surgical oncology
  • Diagnosis and treatment of thyroid and parathyroid neoplasms
  • Management of head and neck melanoma

Areas of Expertise

  • Diagnosis and management of head and neck malignancies including thyroid carcinoma and cutaneous melanoma of the head and neck
  • Surgical management of primary and secondary hyper-parathyroidism
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity

Awards & Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Member, American Head & Neck Society
  • Member, American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
  • Member, American College of Surgeons Oncology Group
  • Member, American Thyroid Association
  • Member, Boone County Medical Society
  • Member, Midwest Head and Neck Cancer Consortium
  • Member, Missouri State Medical Association
  • Member, Society of University Otolaryngologists