Transoral robotic surgery experience in 44 cases

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2013 Nov;23(11):900-7. doi: 10.1089/lap.2013.0261. Epub 2013 Oct 1.


Objective: To report a single institution's experience with transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and its clinical outcomes. This was a retrospective study carried out at a university-affiliated teaching hospital.

Subjects and methods: Forty-four consecutive TORS patients with benign and malignant diseases were reviewed. Data on demographics, clinical parameters, and diet were collected. Surgical margins, local and regional recurrence, distant metastasis, 2-year disease-free survival rate, and 2-year survival data were reviewed for the malignant cases.

Results: Nine benign and 35 proven squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA) cases underwent TORS. The set-up time was 17.12 minutes (range, 10-40 minutes), and operative time was 53 minutes (range, 10-300 minutes). Average length of stay was 2.5 days. There were seven (6.8%) grade 3 surgical complications. Surgical infection rate was 2.3%. Benign cases were on a regular diet after TORS. Of the malignant cases, 94% were taking peroral diet immediately after the TORS procedure. There were no intraoperative complications and no 30-day postoperative mortalities. The mean follow-up time was 25.2 months (range, 16-38 months) for malignant disease. The SCCA sites were in the oropharynx (30/35), larynx (2/35), and unknown primary with neck metastasis (3/35). Unknown primary patients were excluded in the surgical margin analyses. Negative margins were achieved in 91% of cases. The local and regional recurrence rates were 6.3% (2/32) and 3.1% (1/32), respectively. Two patients (6.3%) developed distant metastasis. Oropharyngeal SCCA cases were reviewed, of which 23 were human papillomavirus (HPV)/p16 positive and 7 were HPV/p16 negative. The 2-year actual survival for HPV-positive and -negative patients was 96% (22/23) and 86% (6/7), respectively. The 2-year disease-free survival for HPV-positive and -negative cases was 91% (21/23) and 71.4% (5/7), respectively. All malignant cases that underwent TORS received postoperative adjuvant therapy.

Conclusions: TORS is a safe procedure with minimal complications and acceptable clinical and functional outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / surgery*
  • Operative Time
  • Oral Surgical Procedures*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotics*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult