New Surgery for Head and Neck Tumors Promises Faster Recovery for Patients
BMC is the only hospital in New England offering the innovative TORS procedure.
Photo courtesy of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
The new robotic procedure, called transoral robotic surgery (TORS), allows surgeons to access and treat tumors through the patient’s mouth. BMC is the only hospital in New England offering the innovative technique.
“We are able to enter through the mouth and use the robotic tools as extensions of our hands. Compared to traditional surgery, I have found patients treated via the robot require less anesthesia and experience less complications, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery periods,” explains BMC otolaryngologist and surgeon Gregory Grillone, M.D., F.A.C.S.. “In addition, this method allows us to better preserve speech, swallowing and other key quality of life issues.”
Head and neck tumor treatments often involve a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In many cases, surgery offers the greatest chance of cure; yet conventional open surgery requires an almost ear-to-ear incision across the neck and splitting the jaw, resulting in significant speech and swallowing deficits for patients.
BMC has been a pioneer in the use of robotic surgery using it for minimally invasive urologic, obstetric and cardiac surgery. The robot allows the surgeon the ability to perform what could be a complicated surgery faster and with less recovery time for the patient. The main advantage of the robot is that the attached instruments can move freely in all directions, similar to movements of the human wrist. Additionally, the robot allows for 3D imaging so surgeons can have the perspective of depth of field while operating.