Help or Hoopla?: Surgical Robots Can Benefit Otolaryngology

August 2, 2011

ENT Today

The role of robotics in health care is a hotly debated topic, reports anarticle in ENT Today magazine. In otolaryngology, the da Vinci SurgicalSystem, the only surgical robot approved by the FDA, is currently used toexcise cancers of the oropharynx transorally, to perform transaxillarythyroidectomies and to treat sleep apnea. Perhaps the most widely accepteduse of robotic surgery in otolaryngology is transoral robotic surgery(TORS). Developed in 2005 by Bert O’Malley, MD, chair, Department ofOtorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, and Gregory Weinstein, MD,vice-chair, Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, TORSwas approved by the FDA in 2009 for the removal of T1 and T2 cancers of theoropharynx. Only about 200 surgeons in the U.S. are currently qualified toperform TORS, said Dr. Weinstein. He believes that the number of qualifiedsurgeons will increase based on the need to treat patients with HPV-relatedcancers of the head and neck... Read More

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