TORS for Head & Neck Cancer Care: Innovative, Minimally-Invasive Surgery Technique Invented at Penn

TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) is a minimally-invasive, robot-assisted surgical technique to remove tumors of the mouth and throat that are difficult to reach through traditional surgery. Penn Medicine surgeons Bert W. O'Malley, Jr., MD, and Gregory S. Weinstein, MD, developed and perfected the TORS technique in 2005, and together have performed more TORS procedures than any other physicians in the world.

"TORS is a true paradigm shift in the way we treat head and neck cancers," Dr. O'Malley explained. In addition to better outcomes, studies have shown that TORS dramatically improves head and neck cancer patients’ quality of life, as the approach does not require jaw breaking and other techniques typical of traditional surgery, therefore preserving speech and swallowing.

Following surgery, we’re one of the only sites in the world with the technology to deliver pencil beam proton therapy required for head and neck radiation. Radiation Oncologist Alexander Lin, MD, explains the close collaboration between Penn Otorhinolaryngology and his radiation oncology team treating head and neck cancers with proton therapy: “In proton therapy, protons release their energy completely once they enter a tumor--limiting the radiation dose beyond the tumor site." Dr. Lin continued, "This causes less damage to healthy, surrounding tissues and results in improved outcomes, fewer side effects and greater quality of life--during and after treatment. "

Today, TORS is part of the world-class head and neck surgery program at Penn Medicine comprised of leading surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses.

Related Links:
Learn more about Penn Medicine TORS program
Meet the clinical team
Dr. O’Malley’s physician profile
Dr. Weinstein’s physician profile
Dr. Lin's physician profile
Dr. Erica Thaler’s interview discussing TORS for Sleep Apnea
Refer a patient to Penn Otorhinolaryngology
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February 15, 2018

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