Transoral robotic surgery for oropharyngeal carcinoma and its impact on patient-reported quality of life and function

Head Neck. 2012 Feb;34(2):146-54. doi: 10.1002/hed.21688. Epub 2011 Apr 5.


Background: The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life of patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma after transoral robotic surgery (TORS).

Methods: Short Form (SF)-8 and Performance Status Scale (PSS) questionnaires were completed prior to surgery, 6 and 12 months of follow-up.

Results: In all, 38 patients treated with TORS followed by adjuvant therapy as indicated were prospectively enrolled. For PSS Eating and Diet domains, significant decreases occurred at 6 months (p ≤ .001 and p ≤ .001, respectively) but not at 12 months. Significant declines in PSS Speech were seen at 6 and 12 months (p ≤ .001 and p ≤ .001). There were no significant declines in the SF-8 domains, except for Bodily Pain and Global Health (6 months). Significantly higher PSS Eating and Diet scores were seen at 6 months for TORS alone compared with TORS and chemoradiation.

Conclusions: Combination TORS and adjuvant therapy caused a temporary decrease in several domains at 6 months, returning to baseline including swallowing function in all patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / physiopathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated
  • Robotics* / methods
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xerostomia / prevention & control