On October 3rd, Bellvitge University Hospital performed for the first time in Spain, a transoral robotic surgery (TORS) in oncological pathology of otolaryngology. Specifically, they performed a cancer removal at the base of the tongue.

The introduction of robotic surgery has meant in many cases, a paradigm shift. In the field of otorhinolaryngology surgery, its main application is the oncological surgery of the oropharynx at the base of the tongue and the supraglotic larynx.

The University Hospital of Bellvitge performs the first robotic surgery in Spain in oncological pathology of otolaryngology

The availability of a da Vinci surgical robot at the University Hospital of Bellvitge has made it possible, with the support of the Hospital and the collaboration of the Foundation Iavante (depending of the Health Council of the Junta de Andalucía) and Palex, to perform the first robotic surgery in the field of otorhinolaryngology in Spain.

The intervention was done by Dr. Ivan Domenech, with the collaboration of Dr. Francisco Fernandez-Nogueras from the Foundation Iavante. The achieving of this goal has been made ​​possible by all doctors of the Division of Oncology and pharyngolaryngeal Patholog of the Bellvitge University Hospital and the other members of the Otolaryngology Service.

The patient had a tumor at the base of  tongue, which was completely removed, with margins free of disease, and is having a proper recovery.

The introduction of this type of surgery allows for a much more accurate excision through transoral. The benefits of this surgery are the accuracy of the resection because of working with a 3-D visualization, the suppression of tremor of the hand, and the availability of a greater capacity to move than the human hand. This results in less postoperative morbidity, better functional outcomes and a reduced hospital stay.

It should be emphasized also that this type of surgery opens a vast field to perform, as part of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), both experimental and clinical type research for developing new surgical procedures. The field of teaching can develop programs to facilitate the training. Within Biopol, it could be performed in conjunction with the industry development programs for applying new technologies.

November 2011

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