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Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Minimally invasive surgery can provide multiple patient benefits, and in the area of head and neck surgery, this statement presents no exception.

In the past, removal of a benign or malignant tumor in the back of the mouth or larynx would require a complex open, morbid surgery leading to months of recovery.

Using the da Vinci® Surgical System, WakeMed surgeons can perform a minimally invasive transoral robotic surgery (TORS) surgery with a long list of potential patient benefits, including less blood loss, no visible scarring, no trachemotomy, a low rate of complications, a much shorter hospital stay, a faster recovery, and a much quicker return to normal speech and swallowing. The surgery can also lead to a decreased risk of permanent PEG tube placement and a minimized need for chemoradiation therapy.


First Transoral Robotic Surgery Performed at WakeMed

Dr. James T. O’Neil

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Research has shown that up to 50 percent of patients can avoid all radiation therapy after receiving TORS. Plus, the post-operative benefits are very impressive. Instead of months of recovery and radiation therapy for around six weeks, patients are often looking at a three-hour procedure and a three-day hospital stay."

The da Vinci surgical robot allows a surgeon to enter the patient's mouth using enhanced 3D HD visualization that creates more precise dissection.  By targeting the tumor directly, the surgeon can leave the surrounding muscles and mucosa unaffected - something that is not possible with radiation therapy.

While the da Vinci robot was originally intended for the areas of urology and OB/GYN, it is also an excellent solution for minimally invasive head and neck surgery. 

Learn more about how WakeMed surgeons are using the TORS procedure to address sleep apnea.

Learn more about the TORS procedure from da Vinci surgical.