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What to Expect from Trans Oral Robotic Surgery (TORS)

Prior to Surgery

  • Talk to your doctor about any medications/vitamins/herbs you are taking as you may need to stop certain ones before surgery.
  • Stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), Clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners one week prior to surgery.
  • Discontinue any diet medications or St. John's Wort two weeks before surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have
  • The day before surgery, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.

Day of the Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After Surgery

  • Plan on spending three to five nights in the hospital after TORS (one to two nights if you have a neck dissection.)
  • You will have a nose to stomach feeding tube, which will be removed quickly after you been able to achieve good swallowing function. Follow the advice of your ENT as to what foods and drink may be taken by mouth after tube removal.
  • Walking is encouraged, based on your energy level.
  • No heavy lifting for at least four weeks.
  • Avoid stress

Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks

The recovery time following TORS is significantly shorter and has fewer side effects than traditional open surgery. Most patients will be fully recovered in two weeks and can resume some normal activities, such as driving, walking and some duties at work. This will vary based on the extent of your surgery and expected healing time. Talk to your physician about what to expect.