Not long ago, people with complex head and neck disorders had limited surgical treatment options. Standard surgical approaches often left patients with visible scars, trouble breathing or swallowing after surgery, and a prolonged recovery.
At the UPMC Center for Robotic Head and Neck Surgery, surgeons are now able to treat these complex disorders using transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Like other minimally invasive procedures, the robotic system uses smaller incisions than standard surgery does.
Robotic Surgery Benefits and Features
Compared to other head and neck surgical approaches, minimally invasive robotic surgery can:
- Greatly reduce post-op pain.
- Allow for a shorter hospital stay.
- Enable a quicker return to your normal daily routine.
Types of Robotic Surgery Devices
da Vinci Surgical System®
The da Vinci Surgical robotic system at the Center for Robotic Head and Neck Surgery features:
- A 3D image processing system.
- Interactive mechanical arms with joints that follow the surgeon’s hand movements.
- A camera arm that allows the surgeon to see an enlarged, high-definition view of the procedure.
The New Flex® Robotic System
The Flex® Robotic System gives head and neck surgeons the ability to access anatomical locations that were previously difficult or impossible to reach minimally invasively. Surgeons can steer around anatomical structures with magnified HD for views that may not be possible with other minimally invasive approaches.
The Flex® Robotic System can navigate a nearly 180 degree path to reach challenging surgical targets. Surgeons can then deploy 3mm articulating instruments from a stable surgical platform that extends their reach to perform procedures. UPMC is the first center in the U.S. to utilize the Flex Robotic System since it received FDA approval in 2015. The device is approved for use only in head and neck surgery.
Why Choose UPMC for Robotic Head and Neck Surgery?
- Our center is part of the UPMC Department of Otolaryngology, a world leader in the field of ear, nose, and throat research and treatment.
- We use a team approach to offer the least invasive surgical techniques for people with noncancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) diseases of the head and neck.
- The center is a pioneer in performing robotic head and neck surgery in the tri-state (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia) area, and is one of the highest volume centers in the country.
- We also actively work with the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University to develop and enhance cutting-edge robotic technologies.