Transoral Robotic Surgery

Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is a minimally invasive approach to surgery that uses the da Vinci surgical robot to access small and often difficult-to-reach areas of the mouth and throat – without any external incisions.

"Using robotic surgery with 3-D, high-def imaging, we can excise tumors more precisely with excellent results."

Baran Sumer, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

At UT Southwestern Medical Center, TORS has been applied to remove tumors from the oral cavity and throat, as well as to treat patients with sleep apnea.

Compared to open surgery, TORS offers quicker recovery times, less blood loss, and fewer days in the hospital.

Removing tumors robotically involves use of a high-definition, 3-D camera attached to an endoscope for precise, magnified visualization, and small robotic instruments attached to robotic arms.

The surgeon controls the robotic camera and arms from a nearby console, and the robotic arms and instruments precisely match the motions of the surgeon’s hands.

At the same time, an assistant remains at the patient’s side to help the surgeon. A second console is available for two surgeons to work as a team.

For patients, TORS offers tremendous advantages:

  • Fewer complications, infections, and blood transfusions
  • Less time in the operating room, under anesthesia, and in the hospital
  • No scarring or disfigurement
  • Quicker recovery time