Transoral robotic surgery of the oropharynx: Clinical and anatomic considerations

Clin Anat. 2012 Jan;25(1):135-41. doi: 10.1002/ca.22008. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


Transoral robotic surgery provides a mechanism to approach tumors of the upper aerodigestive tract through a natural body orifice--the mouth. The technique has been applied most often to malignant tumors of the oropharynx. The use of this technique, however, forces the surgeon to view the anatomy from a different vantage point. Head and neck surgeons are accustomed to the oropharynx from lateral to medial. The transoral approach forces surgeons to consider the anatomy from the oral cavity and oropharynx medial perspective. This article will discuss the relevant anatomy, operative goals, robotic technique, and clinical considerations of transoral robotic surgery of the oropharynx.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery*
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Oropharynx / anatomy & histology
  • Oropharynx / surgery*
  • Robotics*
  • Tongue / anatomy & histology