Transoral Robotic-Assisted Surgery (TORS)
Transoral robotic-assisted surgery (TORS) was developed in 2004 by Dr. Gregory Weinstein and Dr. Bert O’Malley Jr. at the University of Pennsylvania. TORS uses the da Vinci Robot System, which was already in use at the time in urologic, and OBGYN procedures, to remove tumors of the back of the throat. The FDA approved da Vinci for TORS in 2009 after data proved it would cure cancer with less operating time, blood loss and complications than traditional surgery. These types of procedures can also reduce the risk of patients undergoing throat cancer treatment from being dependent on a feeding tube for nutrition.
When a patient has been diagnosed with specific types of throat cancer, TORS may be an option if the tumor needs to be removed. TORS is a minimally invasive surgery that can be done through the natural opening of the mouth. It uses a sophisticated, computer enhanced system to guide precise surgical tools. This system gives the surgeon an enhanced view of the cancer and surrounding tissue and allows them to reach the tumor without having to perform more aggressive, jaw-splitting surgery. TORS may be used to treat cancers of the base of tongue and tonsils.
Both Drs. Robert and Rima DeFatta are TORS certified and have safely treated many throat cancer patients in the Chippewa Valley using this technique as a part of their overall treatment plan.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with throat cancer and would like an opinion if TORS could be a treatment option, call DeFatta ENT & Allergy at (715) 828-2368 for more information or to schedule an appointment.