Robotic surgery ‘effectively’ removes hard-to-reach throat cancer

April 30th, 2011 - 1:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 30 (ANI): Till now, robotic surgery was considered a mainstream tool for removing an ever-increasing variety of head and neck tumours.

But, now a team of head and neck surgeons from Mayo Clinic has found that robotic surgery can treat cancer in the narrow, hard-to-reach area beyond the tongue at the top of the voice box.

“We’ve known it’s useful for tongue base and tonsil cancers, but we wanted to assess its effectiveness in the larynx,” said Kerry Olsen, Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist and senior author of the study.

The investigation of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) followed nine patients for up to three years following removal of supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the area of the larynx above the vocal cords. Most of the patients had advanced-stage disease.

The results showed TORS effectively removed cancer, with “clean,” disease-free margins, and was easier to perform than the approach of transoral laser microsurgery via a laryngoscope. The patients also underwent the surgical removal of their adjacent neck nodes at the same operation.

“We were pleased with the cancer outcomes,” said Olsen.

“We also found patients had minimal trouble after surgery, in most cases resuming normal eating, swallowing and speaking,” added Olsen.

The study was presented at the Combined Otolaryngological Spring Meetings in Chicago. (ANI)

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