October 1, 2010

New Robotic Head and Neck Cancer Surgery

An incisionless new robotic surgery that removes certain tumors in head and neck cancer patients has been introduced as an alternative to traditional treatments. The new surgery, called TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) uses the da Vinci Surgical System and is only offered at a few hospitals across the country.

"TORS offers shorter post-operative recovery than standard open surgical approaches, giving patients the opportunity to quickly and successfully return to their normal lives," said Tamer A. Ghanem, MD, PhD, director of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery Division in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The Henry Ford Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the country to offer TORS.

With TORS, surgeons can access tumors through the mouth using the slender operating arms of the da Vinci, therefore not requiring an open incision. By not having to make a drastic incision, tumors are removed and a patient's speech and swallowing capabilities aren't compromised and there is minimal scaring or disfigurement.


  

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