Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery (TORS)

The incidence of human papilloma virus (HPV) has related oropharyngeal (i.e. tonsils, base of tongue) malignancy is on the rise. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be more HPV-related tonsil and base of tongue cancer than HPV-related cervical cancer in women.

Dr. Laureano Giráldez-Rodríguez is the only head and neck cancer surgeon in the Caribbean trained in TORS for throat malignancies. Dr. Giráldez uses the DaVinci Surgical system in order to guide a high definition camera into the mouth of the patient. Two robotic arms guided by a surgeon at the ‘robotic console’ and the assisting surgeon arms aid in the removal of the tumor in the throat.

The advantages of TORS versus traditional surgery include shorter operative time (10 hours for traditional surgery, 2-4 hours for TORS), less morbidity of the surgery (traditional surgery involved a large incision in the neck and splitting the mandible), and decreased hospital stay among others.

Benefits of Transoral Robotic Surgery

  • Faster patient recovery
  • Less pain and faster time to start eating after surgery
  • Shorter stay in the hospital (1-2 days instead of open surgery 7 – 15 days)
  • Reduction of swallowing and speech complications
  • Decreased need of adjuvant treatment in some patients (i.e. radiation and chemotherapy)
  • Decreased hospital costs