James O’Hara is the lead for the Northern Head and Neck MDT, held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His clinical practice is almost entirely devoted to malignant and benign head and neck disease. He has a particular interest in transoral surgery, having developed a transoral laser microsurgical practice as a consultant in Sunderland. From 2014 he has evolved this practice towards transoral robotic surgery, both for primary and salvage malignant disease. He has published work relating to post-operative swallowing outcomes after transoral surgery. The team approach in the North East of England now firmly concentrates on minimising functional outcomes following head and neck surgery. Transoral surgery and a pioneering approach to bilateral neck dissection plays a key role in this ethos. He has developed a specialist interest in dysphagia, particularly related to cricopharyngeal pathology.
James O’Hara is a co-applicant on four NIHR randomised trials assessing the effectiveness of proton-pump inhibitors for chronic throat symptoms, adult tonsillectomy, septal surgery, and low level laser therapy in the prevention of oral mucositis during head and neck radiotherapy. He is an associate editor for Clinical Otolaryngology, and has been treasurer and secretary for the Otorhinolaryngology Research Society in recent years.