No one want to hear their doctor mention the “C-word” during their visit, but if you are unfortunately diagnosed with cancer, you should seek out the best treatment available. In the realm of throat cancer, as with other cancers, there is a need for an effective and safe way to treat these conditions. Widely accepted and preformed treatments for throat cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and radiation oncology. However, this type of treatment is not always the best option for patients suffering from throat cancer, due to its invasive nature and life-altering side effects.
Because throat cancers are becoming more and more prevalent, a new procedure called the TransOral Robotic Surgery is becoming the most precise and unobtrusive procedure available. Specifically, Dr. White with Camellia ENT is the only surgeon in the area that is qualified and trained to perform this procedure.
What Is TransOral Robotic Surgery?
The TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) is a procedure that involves removing the tumor cells from the throat. This process enlists the help of the surgical robot to guide the surgical tools that are used to remove the tumor(s) from the mouth and/or throat of the patient. During the procedure, the arms of the robot are strategically positioned inside the patient’s mouth. The doctor sits at the table away from the patient and will operate the arms of the robot while sitting in his table. The assistant sits near the patient to help in whatever manner might be required. The arms of the robot can then reach into the throat area to excise the tumor and surrounding problematic tissue that is present.
Because this technique is new, effective, and noninvasive, you can see why patients and doctors alike approve of and choose this procedure. The robot arms give surgeons more range of movement and more flexibility than they would be allowed doing any other procedure. While utilizing small cameras and robotically precise instruments, tumors can be removed without a single incision. Because of its noninvasive approach, the patients who undergo this procedure are known to have a significantly reduced recovery time, heal quicker, and experience less side effects than other procedures. The patient also benefits from the procedure, because it then requires less radiation treatment than with other cancer removal treatments, which also cuts down on the amount and severity of side effects. This technique can also use small lasers to remove infected or diseased tissue that may have otherwise gone unseen. Lastly, because of its reliance on robotic technology, there is less room for error on the part of physician fatigue. The technology allows for precise care without requiring the surgeons hands to perform the operation.
As with any surgery or procedure, there are some negatives to consider regarding this technique as well. First, this technique requires highly and specifically surgeons to preform the operation. Therefore, it may be difficult to find a surgeon in your area that preforms this technique. Luckily, South Louisiana is lucky to be blessed with the talents of Dr. White that is qualified to preform this TORS technique on patients. Because of the emphasis on technology in this procedure, the reliance on tactile feedback is diminished, and the surgeons must rely more on hand-eye coordination and training than what they were trained to experience. Also, due to this, the procedure is extensive and takes much more time than other, more invasive procedures. This procedure is also dependent heavily on the physical attributes of the patient. A patient with a smaller, stiffer neck or smaller mouth/jaw is less likely to be approved for this procedure. If the surgical space is too limited, the robotic arms cannot move properly within it, and that may cause problems with the surgeon’s ability to perform tasks during surgery.
Tumors in the mouth, throat, and tonsil area may be a technical challenge to remove and have traditionally been removed through operations involving a massive incision, even sometime the removal of all or part of the patient’s jaw. These types of operations frequently involve longer hospital stays, broad rehabilitation and may result in difficulty in swallowing and talking. The TORS procedure, though technologically reliant and difficult, has been proven to be extremely effective in the removal of tumors in the mouth and throat areas. With limited side effects and no need for any incisions, this minimally invasive procedure is ideal for patients with cancers that may be difficult to reach through other treatments or require more precise instruments to remove.
If you have any questions regarding this technique or would like to learn more about it, call Camiella ENT. With the only surgeon in the area that can perform this procedure, Camiella ENT and their staff are ready to help answer any and all questions you may have about this procedure or any others offered. Give them a call to set up an appointment today!