Mayo Clinic head and neck surgeons are regularly using a surgical robotic system to remove mouth and throat (oropharyngeal) tumors through the mouth (transoral). In transoral robotic surgery, the robot's precise wrist-like action allows surgical removal of the tumor by working in multiple directions in tight spaces with the capability to work around corners. Guiding the surgery from the command console, the surgeon uses 3-D imaging and instruments attached to the robotic arms, which improves precision when removing the cancer.

Read more about mouth cancer.

  • Expertise and experience. Mayo Clinic surgeons have more than 30 years experience in removing cancers through the mouth and can determine if robotic surgery or another surgical approach is best for you. Mayo specialists have significant expertise in using transoral robotic surgery to remove oral cancers, including cancers of the tonsil, palate, base of the tongue, throat and pharynx. Cancer removal and reconstructive surgery are typically done in a single surgery.
  • Successful outcomes. Mayo Clinic has a multispecialty head and neck cancer team that coordinates surgical care, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, speech and swallowing therapy, and physical therapy to achieve excellent outcomes for you. Compared with many other surgical approaches, minimally invasive transoral robotic surgery typically offers excellent cure rates, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications when removing oropharyngeal cancers.
  • Cutting-edge research. Mayo clinic researchers are actively involved in expanding the use of transoral robotic surgery to other areas of the head and neck.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

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At Mayo Clinic in Arizona, transoral robotic surgery is performed by specialists in head and neck surgery.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Florida, transoral robotic surgery is performed by specialists in head and neck surgery.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, transoral robotic surgery is performed by specialists in head and neck surgery.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic continue to study the use of transoral robotic surgery for removing base of the tongue tumors, tonsil cancers, laryngeal tumors and other head and neck malignancies. Also, they are expanding research into its use for select tumors of the voice box or larynx, as well as the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on transoral robotic surgery on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.