FDA approves transoral da Vinci procedures

In the past few years great effort has been invested to explore and develop new methods to treat tumors in the head and neck region through the mouth. UPenn initiated a TORS program in 2004, and from a cooperation with Intuitive Surgical, great results derived. Intuitive released its TORS tool family 2 years ago, and now it has gained FDA approval for oropharyngeal, laryngeal and hypopharyngeal resections, floor of mouth and oral cavity resections. Lear more about da Vinci surgery from Intuitive's 2009Q3 report.
"A minimally invasive surgical approach developed by head and neck surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, California) has been cleared for Trans Oral otolaryngologic surgical procedures to treat benign tumors and select malignant tumors in adults.
Drs. Gregory S. Weinstein and Bert W. O’Malley, Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery founded the world’s first Trans Oral Robotic Surgery (TORS) program at Penn Medicine in 2004, where they developed and researched the TORS approach for a variety of robotic surgical neck approaches for both malignant and benign tumors of the mouth, voice box, tonsil, tongue and other parts of the throat. Since 2005, approximately 350 Penn patients have participated in the world’s first prospective clinical trials of TORS. These research trials compromise the largest and most comprehensive studies of the technology on record."
Source: Penn Medicine News

Update: video on trans-oral procedures
See the brochure of the procedure

Update2: several successful procedures have been reported recently:
The da Vinci cure: A robotic surgery to treat throat cancer
Head and neck surgeons turn to robotics
TORS for Resection of Skull Base Lesions
Robotic precision cuts high risks of head-and-neck cancer surgery
MTMC doctor performs new oral robotic surgery


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