Dr. William R. Ryan is a board-certified, fellowship-trained, head and neck oncologic surgeon and associate professor at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), Bakar Cancer Hospital / Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center at Mission Bay in the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic and Endocrine Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Clinically, Dr. Ryan is skilled in caring for patients with benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck and salivary gland inflammatory disorders with the appropriate application of robotic, endoscopic, minimally invasive, and traditional surgical techniques. He regularly performs ultrasonography in clinic and in the operating room for his patients. He also has special expertise in transoral robotic surgery (TORS), sialendoscopy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and regional reconstruction of the face, mouth, and neck. Dr. Ryan helps direct the Robotic Head and Neck Surgery Center, Thyroid Surgery Center, and Salivary Gland Surgery Center at UCSF.
Dr. Ryan is committed to providing adequate information and being as accessible as possible to his patients.
Dr. Ryan was a finalist for the university-wide Henry J. Kaiser teaching award for 2022. Dr. Ryan is actively involved in teaching and mentorship in the UCSF residency and fellowship training programs and the School of Medicine. He serves as the head and neck surgical oncology fellowship co-director. He also directs the year-long Prendergast clinical research fellowship for medical students.
He is a regular invited lecturer and panelist nationally and at UCSF on various aspects of head and neck surgery, salivary duct surgery, and head and neck ultrasound having conducted over 100 national lectures over his career. His research and education interests include functional quality of life outcomes after treatment of human papilloma virus associated (HPV+) oropharynx carcinoma, oral cavity cancer, and salivary tumors, the quality of life impact of sialendoscopic-assisted salivary duct surgery for chronic sialadenitis, surgeon-performed ultrasound applications for the management of salivary disease, the utility of imaging surveillance for various head and neck cancers, and the role of surgery alone for the treatment of HPV+ oropharynx carcinoma. He is the principal investigator in a clinical trial testing the drug ruxolitinib on upper aerodigestive tract squamous cell carcinoma. He has authored over 95 published peer-reviewed journal articles and 4 book chapters and edited a full book on salivary diseases. He serves on multiple committees within the American Head and Neck Society. He is a fellow of the Triological Society. He is a regular reviewer for the journals: Laryngoscope, Head and Neck, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, JAMA-Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and several others. He is a co-director for the following 2 annual courses: UCSF/Tripler Pacific Rim Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Update and the UCSF Sialendoscopy/Salivary Duct Surgery Update.
Dr. Ryan earned his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2005, where he also completed his residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in 2010. Following his residency, he completed a fellowship in advanced head and neck oncologic and endocrine surgery at UCSF in 2011. He joined the UCSF faculty in 2011.
Away from his career, he enjoys surfing, skiing, playing guitar, seeing music, hiking, and time with his friends and family, especially his wife, daughter, and son.
Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Salivary Gland and Duct Surgery and Sialendoscopy, Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Transoral Robotic Surgery, Surgeon-Performed Ultrasound, Salivary Gland and Duct Surgery and Sialendoscopy, Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
Head and Neck Tumors, transoral robotic surgery, surgeon-performed ultrasound, salivary surgery/sialoendoscopy, thyroid/parathyroid surgery, endoscopic sinus/skull base surgery, and facial reconstruction, outcomes research. salivary function in setting of oncologic treatments, head and neck surgery technique commonalities across the United States, the impact of sialendoscopy on patient symptoms, the benefits and drawbacks of head and neck cancer surveillance with radiology
Education and Training:
• Medical School: Stanford University, CA
• Internship: Stanford University, CA – Head and Neck Surgery
• Residency: Stanford University, CA – Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
• Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco – Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery
Awards and Honors:
• 1997 Phi Beta Kappa, Wesleyan University
• 2004, Best paper by a medical student award, 6th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer, Washington D.C
• 2009, Honorable Mention-Scientific Content Award, Stanford Otolaryngology Resident Research Symposium
• 2011 University of California-San Francisco - Pinnacle Award- Highest Patient Satisfaction Award For A Clinical Division (Granted to the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic/Endocrine Surgery)
• 2012 University of California-San Francisco - Pinnacle Award - Highest Patient Satisfaction Award For A Clinical Division at UCSF (Granted to the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic/Endocrine Surgery)
• 2013 University of California-San Francisco - Pinnacle Award (Honorable Mention / 3rd Place) - Highest Patient Satisfaction Award For A Clinical Division at UCSF (Granted to the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic/Endocrine Surgery)
-American Head and Neck Society Chris O'Brien Traveling Fellow to Australia, 2022
-UCSF Henry Kaiser Inpatient Teaching Award Finalist, 2022