Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS)

Throat cancers (oropharyngeal cancers) are becoming more and more common. These cancers often start in the tonsils or the base of the tongue. Before, these types of cancers called for intrusive surgeries. This may have involved splitting the jaw and rebuilding the tissue from other parts of the body.

TORS represents a new, less intrusive surgical method. This type of surgery goes through a patient's mouth and eliminates scarring and quickens recovery time.

TORS allows the area to function normally after surgery. The healing time is also shorter. More patients are being offered this choice of surgery at Cedars-Sinai.

During TORS, the cancer is reached by placing the needed tools down the throat with a high-definition camera and specialized instruments. The camera zooms in on the area of concern to give the doctor a magnified, three-dimensional view of the cancer.

The tools used to remove the cancer are controlled by the doctor outside of the body. This allows the tools to move in the same way the doctor is moving. The robot is fully under the control of the doctor. This allows them to operate in areas they could not otherwise reach.

Potential benefits of transoral robotic surgery for patients:

  • Less blood loss
  • Lowers the amount of chemoradiation or eliminates the need for it
  • No need for tracheostomy
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery to normal speech and swallowing
  • No visible scarring or disfigurement