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Transoral Robotic Surgery
During transoral robotic surgery (TORS), a surgeon controls a sophisticated, highly precise robotic arm to remove tumors of the mouth and throat via access directly through the mouth. UT Southwestern is a regional leader of this technology, having performed the first TORS procedure in Dallas to remove throat tumors.
Expertise in Minimally Invasive Surgery for Mouth and Throat Cancers
TORS allows surgeons to access areas of the mouth and throat that are typically difficult to reach with traditional surgical approaches. As a minimally invasive surgical option, it can offer numerous advantages over traditional open surgery, including:
- Faster recovery time
- Fewer complications, particularly problems
- Improved outcomes
- No external incisions
UT Southwestern’s team includes doctors who specialize in TORS, and they work with nurses and physicians who have been specially trained in robotic-assisted surgery. Our patients receive state-of-the-art care from providers who are experts in preoperative, operative, and postoperative robotic surgery.
Conditions We Treat With Transoral Robotic Surgery
TORS is used to treat benign and malignant tumors of the mouth and throat. Common sites include hard-to-reach areas such as the base of the tongue, the bottom of the tonsils, and parts of the oropharynx.
Specific conditions treated with TORS include:
- Head and
neck cancer, including
cancer of the larynx
which includes the tongue and tonsils
- Some types of carcinoma and thyroid cancers
What to Expect from Transoral Robotic SurgeryPatients receive general anesthesia and are asleep for the surgery.
During TORS, a surgeon uses a da Vinci Surgical System – a highly precise surgical robot –to operate the surgical tools. The robot’s “arms” are placed inside the patient’s mouth, and the surgeon guides them while sitting at a console near the patient. An assistant stays at the bedside to assist with the procedure if needed.
The surgical robot has a mechanical articulating tip that is more flexible than a human wrist, and the 3D visuals provide realistic depth and detail during the procedure.
After the surgery is over, the patient is moved to a recovery room, then to a regular hospital room. A patient’s recovery time depends on the complexity of the surgery.