Winship Cancer Institute surgeons are changing the way head and neck cancer patients are treated through a minimally invasive procedure called Transoral Robotic Surgery, or TORS.
During a TORS procedure, surgical robot arms are inserted into the patient's mouth and used to remove cancerous tumors in the tonsils and the back of the tongue.
Winship head and neck surgeon Mihir Patel, MD, says the use of the robot allows for better visualization to guide the robotic arms and remove the tumor with a minimally invasive approach. "The advantage for patients is they have excellent outcomes." Patel explains that the TORS procedure increases survival rates to 85 percent in some patients. Robotic surgery also reduces the hospital stay to two to three days compared with a longer hospitalization following traditional approaches.