Penn Otorhinolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery

Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Treatments & Services

TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) uses a state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System allowing head and neck surgeons at Penn access to areas of the throat that are difficult to reach with traditional surgery. TORS is a minimally invasive surgical approach that can remove cancer and benign tumors.

This improved access to areas of the throat results in faster and easier recovery for the patients, less side effects with swallowing, and improved cancer outcomes.

Patients who have TORS to treat mouth and throat cancers may experience the following benefits:

  • Quicker return to normal activity
  • Shorter hospitalization
  • Reduced risk of long-term swallowing problems that are more commonly seen ith chemoradiation or traditional open surgery
  • Fewer complications compared to traditional open surgery
  • Less scarring than traditional open surgery
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less risk of blood transfusion when compared to open surgery
  • No routine use of tracheostomy during surgery compared to routine use for open surgery

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Penn is conducting clinical trials that study TORS for sleep apnea. Specifically, patients with sleep apnea in which the tongue base is large and contributes to obstruction of the airway.

This surgery is the first of its kind in the region and is being developed by the same pioneering team that invented and developed TORS for tumors of the head and neck. Patients that have failed other treatment modalities for medically significant sleep apnea may be candidates for this pioneering procedure. The results thus far have been promising.

Learn more about TORS research at Penn