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New robotic head and neck cancer surgery preserves speech, without scarring
Date:9/7/2010

DETROIT An incisionless robotic surgical procedure is offering patients a new option to remove certain head and neck cancer tumors without visible scarring, while preserving speech and the ability to eat.

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is among the first in the country to perform TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) using the da Vinci Surgical System. Unlike traditional surgical approaches to head and neck cancer, TORS patients are able to return to their normal lives only a few days after surgery without significant pain and disfigurement.

"TORS offers shorter post-operative recovery than standard open surgical approaches, giving patients the opportunity to quickly and successfully return to their normal lives," says Tamer A. Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D., director of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery Division in the Department of OtolaryngologyHead & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital.

"TORS allows surgeons to completely remove tumors of the head and neck while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key quality of life issues such as eating. There also is no visible scaring or disfigurement."

Led by Dr. Ghanem, Henry Ford Hospital has performed more than a dozen TORS procedures since it was approved in January by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove malignant and benign tumors of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, and parts of the throat.

Prior to TORS, patients would traditionally begin treatment with radiation therapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, depending on the stage of their cancer. Side effects of radiation dry mouth, loss of taste and difficulty swallowing can potentially be avoided with TORS

Traditional surgery has side effects as well. It requires a long incision be made across the lip and jaw to access the tumor. This approach can results in significant swelling, longer post-operative recovery, damage to surrounding structures, and speech and swallow
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Contact: Krista Hopson
khopson1@hfhs.org
313-874-7207
Henry Ford Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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New robotic head and neck cancer surgery preserves speech, without scarring
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