Treating Head & Neck Cancers With Robotic Surgery

Assistant Professor of Oncology, Department of Head and Neck Surgery/Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 4:03pm

Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery (TORS) can be used to treat certain patients with specific cancers of the head and neck. The da Vinci® Surgical System is used during TORS to complete tumor removal with the least-invasive method possible.

During Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery, the surgeon sits at a console and controls the robot’s tiny arms while viewing the throat through a three-dimensional camera angle. The small surgical instruments on the robot’s arms instantly and precisely respond to the surgeon’s own hand movements.

Dr. Arshad discusses the many benefits associated with TORS. Compared to standard surgery, the recovery time after TORS is much shorter. In addition, some patients may avoid the need for radiation or chemotherapy and will maintain normal swallowing functionality. TORS allows patients to avoid the external incisions associated with traditional surgery as well as the possibility of splitting the jaw in half.

Patients with tumors or cancers in certain areas may be candidates for TORS. These include tonsil cancers, cancers of the base of the tongue, and some cancers of the voice box. Patients with these cancers are encouraged to talk to their doctor to determine eligibility for this type of surgery.