Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) in Foley, AL

Family ENT Practice

What is transoral robotic surgery (tors)?

Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is an advanced procedure that utilizes robotic technology and camera (endoscope) guidance to access and treat difficult-to-reach places in the back of the mouth and throat. This type of surgery allows Dr. Kowal to perform less invasive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and head and neck cancers. The entire procedure is performed through the patient’s mouth.

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Why is the transoral robotic surgery performed?

Dr. Kowal may use robot-assisted transoral surgery to treat:

Head and neck disorders including cancers of the mouth, throat (pharynx) or larynx (voice box)
Obstructive sleep apnea
Chronic snoring associated with obstructive sleep apnea

What does the transoral robotic surgery involve?

During transoral robotic surgery, Dr. Kowal uses an endoscope (a small, flexible tube with a camera on the end) to provide high-resolution visualization of the back of a patient’s mouth and throat. Since this area is hard to reach with conventional surgical tools, Dr. Kowal relies upon the cutting edge technology of transoral robotic surgery to gain access and surgically treat problem areas. The small, robotically guided instruments are inserted through the patient’s mouth and serve as an extension of the surgeon’s arms. With these instruments and the real-time imagery provided by the endoscope, Dr. Kowal can perform precise, surgical removal of tumors or other problematic tissue deep in the oral cavity, while causing minimal disruption to surrounding tissue. The precision afforded by TORS means that patients get effective treatment without invasive, open surgery and they also experience faster recovery times. 

What are the advantages of transoral robotic surgery?

Transoral robotic surgery offers numerous benefits, which vary slightly depending on the purpose of the surgery.

Benefits of Transoral Robotic Surgery for Head and Neck Cancers:

Minimally invasive compared to traditional head/neck surgeries
Tumors can be safely dissected, free from surrounding tissue
Little to no disfigurement of the head or neck
Decreased days in the hospital
Less postoperative discomfort
Improvements in swallowing and speech function are comparable to outcomes with traditional surgical methods
No invasive scars
May eliminate the need for other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, or may lessen the recommended dosage

Benefits of Transoral Robotic Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

Minimally invasive compared to traditional sleep apnea surgeries
Problem tissue or mouth and throat structures causing airway obstruction can be carefully removed with minimal disruption to surrounding tissue
Effective, long-term relief from airway obstruction
Eliminates the need for CPAP mask
Less postoperative discomfort
No invasive scars

To learn more about transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and to learn whether you may be a candidate for this breakthrough treatment, call our office at 251.943.1117 today or request a consultation at ENT Centers of Excellence by filling out the form on this page.

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    The Inspire upper airway stimulation system consists of a small impulse generator implanted beneath the clavicle, a tunneled breathing sensing lead placed between the external and intercostal muscles, and a tunneled stimulation lead attached to the branch of the hypoglossal nerve that produces tongue protrusion.

    When the sensing lead detects inspiration is occurring, the impulse generator sends a signal via the stimulation lead to the hypoglossal nerve, which results in slight forward displacement of the stiffened tongue. The impulse generator is similar in size and appearance to a cardiac pacemaker, and the latest version is magnetic resonance imaging compatible.

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    Dr. Keith Kowal at ENT Centers of Excellence is the only ENT physician in the region who offers Balloon Sinuplasty in-office. He can also perform Balloon Sinuplasty as an outpatient procedure.

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    ENT Centers of Excellence is pleased to offer a breakthrough, state-of-the-art surgery called transoral robotic surgery (TORS), a minimally invasive procedure that offers numerous benefits to patients. TORS can be used for multiple purposes, for treatment of both sleep disorders and head and neck cancers. Dr. Keith Kowal is the only board-certified provider of TORS in the region.
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    Hyoid suspension is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic snoring. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck that has attachments to muscles of the tongue as well as other muscles and soft tissues around the throat. The hyoid bone is free to move around rather than firmly anchored in position, and this mobility may cause this area to collapse and cause airway blockage during sleep. With a hyoid suspension procedure, this mobility is eliminated.