Robot-assisted Free Flap Reconstruction of Oropharyngeal Cancer—A Preliminary Report

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Abstract

Background

The robotic surgical system provides a clear, magnified, 3-dimensional (3D) view as well as a precise and stable instrumental movement, which minimizes many technical difficulties that may be encountered in the surgical treatment of oropharyngeal tumors. A preliminary result of transoral robot-assisted free flap reconstruction of oropharyngeal cancer is presented herein.

Materials and Methods

Between May and December 2013, the Da Vinci Surgical System (Da Vinci Si, Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) was used in 5 (4 men and 1 woman) cases of oropharyngeal reconstruction. Robot-assisted reconstruction was performed for inset of the flap and for performing a venous anastomosis of the free radial forearm fasciocutaneous flap.

Results

All of the reconstructive surgeries were successful without flap failure or take-backs. There were no wound infections or fistulas.

Conclusion

The application of a robotic surgical system seems to be a safe option in the free flap reconstruction of oropharyngeal defects without lip or mandible splitting.

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