Transoral robotic surgery for base of tongue neoplasms

B-ENT. 2015;Suppl 24:45-50.


Surgery to the base of tongue (BOT) in the presence of neoplasm is a challenging topic for head and neck surgeons. This area is difficult to access and includes important neurovascular structures such as the hypoglossal nerve and lingual artery. The pivotal role of the tongue base in swallowing makes planning the surgical approach more challenging. The surgical approaches vary from open neck/mandibulotomy to transoral laser surgery (TLS) which have significant disadvantages. After introduction of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) to otolaryngology practice with the da Vinci Surgical system, we have in our armamentarium a new approach to the BOT. The improved exposure with new retractors, 3-dimensional (3-D) visualization and magnification and advanced motion capacity allow for increased ease to perform surgery in this difficult area. In recent years, several articles published the data about safety and feasibility of TORS for various conditions. This article presents our approach to the BOT for neoplasms including malignant and benign lesions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mouth
  • Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery / methods*
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Tongue / surgery
  • Tongue Neoplasms / surgery*