Head and Neck Surgery Facilitated by the da Vinci Surgical System


The da Vinci Surgical System represents a significant advance in medical technology. Robotic surgery has often been utilized for patients undergoing gynecologic and urologic procedures. However, the highly trained robotic surgeons at MountainView Hospital have also performed head and neck surgery with this technology.


Some patients with throat cancer may be candidates for robotic surgery. These may include patients with cancer of the tongue, pharynx, larynx, and tonsils. Generally, an oncologist might recommend surgery to patients with early to moderate throat cancer. However, each potential candidate for robotic surgery is evaluated individually; only your healthcare team can determine if you could be a good candidate for head and neck surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System.


Surgeons may use one of two primary approaches to perform throat surgery. Open surgery involves a large long incision in the throat and jaw. Sometimes, the jawbone may need to be broken to allow the surgeon access to the cancerous tumor. This highly invasive approach to head and neck surgery does offer surgeons clear visualization of the surgical site; yet, patients may face a lengthy recovery, disfigurement, and problems with speaking, eating, and swallowing. These are just a few reasons why surgeons often prefer minimally invasive surgery whenever it is feasible. Transoral surgery involves passing surgical instruments through the mouth. However, visualization of the surgical site can be adversely affected, which is why robotic surgery is an invaluable tool. With da Vinci Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS), surgeons can operate through the mouth and have a clear, magnified view.


In addition to enhanced vision, robotic surgeons performing TORS can make very precise movements with the wristed instruments. These instruments have greater rotational and bending ability than the human wrist, which facilitates superior control during the operation. Typically, robotic surgery is associated with a faster recovery and reduced risk of complications. However, any surgical procedure has potential risks. Consider talking to your doctor about the risks and benefits of robotic head and neck surgery.

MountainView Hospital is the first healthcare facility in the Las Vegas area to offer the da Vinci Xi Surgical System to our patients, which reflects our abiding commitment to healthcare excellence . The Xi system is the most technologically advanced robotic surgery system, with 3D-HD imaging capability and superior anatomical access. To learn more about robotic surgery, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 255-5000.

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