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Ivan H. El-Sayed


Head and neck surgeon

Dr. Ivan H. El-Sayed is a head and neck cancer surgeon. He specializes in treating benign and malignant lesions of the salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and skull base.

El-Sayed's research interests include examining the value of sentinel node biopsy (a procedure to check whether cancer has spread) for head and neck cancer. He also is investigating potential uses of lasers and nanoparticles for diagnosing and treating cancer.

El-Sayed earned his medical degree and completed a residency in otolaryngology at Boston University School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in head and neck oncology at UCSF.

  • Education

    Boston University School of Medicine, 1996

  • Residencies

    Boston University School of Medicine, 2001

  • Fellowships

    UCSF-Mount Zion Cancer Center, 2003

  • Board Certifications

    Otolaryngology, American Board of Otolaryngology

  • Academic Title


Where I see patients (4)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    172 Ratings
    About our process
    Feb 08, 2023
    Everyone was wonderful and I felt "heard".
    Dec 27, 2022
    Dr El-Sayed is super professional and personable
    Dec 21, 2022
    Very thorough. Explained everything in layman terms that it could understand
    Dec 03, 2022
    Dr. El-Sayed is THE BEST!
    Nov 18, 2022
    I would recommend Dr. El Sayed to everyone.
    Nov 16, 2022
    Dr El-Sayed is the best. Always professional and cares about his patients feelings. Awesome!!!
    Nov 10, 2022
    Appointments have seemed rushed.
    Sep 23, 2022
    I will recommend
    Sep 23, 2022
    The doctor cut off my questions before I had asked them all. He said that people have a lot of questions and want a lot of information these days. He told me it's not like a menu where the patient can pick which treatment they want. He said he has a lot of knowledge and expertise -- thus he analyses the situation and makes a decision. He said that he if he tried to answer all the questions people have he wouldn't be able to see patients because it would take too much time. I left with unanswered questions because after he said these things I did not feel comfortable asking my remaining questions. He is a very good surgeon. However I left this appointment feeling rather shamed for asking questions and for wanting to be part of the decision-making about my care. The very negative quality of this interaction took me completely by surprise and was quite a shock. I felt disrespected. It was also confusing to be on the receiving end of his overall message since he arrived In the exam room 45 minutes after my appointment time even though prior to the appointment I had been told by the assistant that I was his first patient of the day. He spent a total of 15 minutes with me which does not seem unreasonable. It likely would have taken no more than 5 additional minutes to ask my remaining questions which were to clarify things he had told me about what would happen going forward.
    Sep 16, 2022
    Dr. El Sayed answered all our questions and was very thoroughly explained our questions.
    Aug 28, 2022
    Dr El Sayed was very informative. Explained everything in detail .
    Apr 22, 2022
    Dr El-Sayed is always very patient and explains very clearly the different options
    Mar 07, 2022
    Dr. El-Sayed always listens to me and answers all of my questions and he always explains my medical issues so that I can understand. I have the utmost respect for Dr. El-Sayed and believe he is one of the best doctors at UCSF or anywhere else!
    Feb 09, 2022
    Excellent care and communication.
    Dec 17, 2021
    Excellent care all around
    Dec 03, 2021
    El-Sayed exceptionally good!!!
    Dec 03, 2021
    Inconsistent with return follow up clinician verbally informed me that next visit will be a year from the visit but written In My Chart it's 6 mos!
    Aug 25, 2021
    Dr El-Sayed always treats his patients in a friendly and professional manner and listens to what they have to say. He is an exceptional Doctor and just a good human being!
    Aug 20, 2021
    Dr. El-Sayed is one of the best doctors I have seen at UCSF. I was happy he did my surgery and the follow up with him has been detailed respectful helpful and friendly.
    Jun 08, 2021
    Dr. El-Sayed is amazing! He waa knowledgeable about my surgery and after care. He was straight forward and clear in conversation. I feel valued and important as his patient.
    Jun 04, 2021
    Dr. El-Sayed is an awesome Dr. he explains everything and makes sure I get to the Dr.s needed for my care
    May 21, 2021
    HE'S GREAT!!!!
    May 09, 2021
    Wants CT scan but don't yet have order.
    May 07, 2021
    Dr. El-Sayed always listens to my questions and concerns and takes the time to explain his answers. He is always there for me. I have great respect for him and I know he takes the best care for his clients. I recommend him highly.
    Apr 23, 2021
    He's the BEST
    Please check with your health insurance plan regarding coverage for this type of care. Not all providers at UCSF are covered by every insurance plan.