Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS)
This head and neck cancer treatment can lead to less pain, shorter hospital stays, and better outcomes.
Along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, surgery is one of the standard treatment approaches for head and neck cancers. Transoral robotic surgery, or TORS, is an alternative to traditional open surgery for these cancers. We are the first in Michigan to offer a less invasive robotic surgery system that gives surgeons the ability to treat head and neck cancers that were once considered inoperable. TORS has many benefits over traditional surgery and may be a good option for you.
How does traditional surgery for head and neck cancers work?
Traditional open surgery for these cancers may require the surgeon to make a long incision across the throat or split the jaw. These larger, more-invasive procedures can result in:
- Damage to surrounding tissue
- Risk of disfigurement
- Significant pain
- Speech and swallowing problems
How does TORS work?
Surgeons who use TORS only need to make a small incision in the mouth to remove a head or neck cancer tumor. The robot-assisted surgical equipment gives your surgeon greater precision and control during the surgery.
Some of the other benefits of TORS include:
- Less blood loss
- Less need for chemotherapy or radiation after surgery
- No need for a tracheotomy (an incision in the trachea, or windpipe)
- No visible scarring or disfigurement
- Shorter hospital stay and faster recovery
How does Henry Ford use TORS?
Our surgeons were among the first in the country to remove head and neck tumors using TORS. Tamer Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D. and Steven Chang, M.D. are experts in the procedure.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved TORS for use in several different types of head and neck cancers. We can use TORS to remove both benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors of the:
- Larynx (voice box)
- Pharynx (the tube that connects the mouth and nose to the esophagus)