Comparison of oncologic and functional outcomes after transoral robotic lateral oropharyngectomy versus conventional surgery for T1 to T3 tonsillar cancer

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Background.We performed transoral robotic surgery (TORS) or conventional surgery via a transoral or mandibulotomy approach in patients with tonsillar cancer and prospectively analyzed the oncologic outcomes and functional recovery of the 3 groups.Methods.Between May 2008 and October 2011, 57 patients were enrolled in this prospective study.Results.Although there was no significant difference in the survival rate of the TORS group (100%) and the conventional surgery group (96.7%), a higher rate of margin negativity was observed in the TORS group, especially in cases in which the tumor extends inferiorly. Patients who received TORS or conventional transoral procedures showed more rapid recovery of swallowing, shorter hospitalization, and shorter operation time than the mandibulotomy group.Conclusion.Despite the weakness of this nonrandomized trial and the differences in T classification, TORS seemed to have distinct advantages over conventional transoral surgery and other conventional open surgery, but further studies are needed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 36: 1138–1145, 2014

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