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HYGEIA: Surgical Treatment of Mouth Cancer Using the Da Vinci Xi Robotic System

23 May 2019

A glossectomy surgery was successfully performed at HYGEIA Hospital by head and neck surgeon Dimitrios Moraitis and his team.

The carcinoma was completely removed from the patient’s base of the tongue with the help of the Da Vinci Xi robotic technology. The patient had previously undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat another head and neck tumor. This time, the tumor was removed from the interior of the mouth with minimum inconvenience to the patient, who was discharged on the second postoperative day. The patient has already completed a one-year postoperative follow-up and remains cancer-free. The benefits of robotic surgery include extreme accuracy and easier access to hard-to-reach areas, such as the base of the tongue and the buccopharynx. In the last few years, there has been keen interest internationally on the use of robotic technology in the buccopharynx, especially for the treatment of cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV). The use of robotic technology seems to be transforming the treatment model, offering plenty of individualized approaches. Modern treatment methods aim to limit the use of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which means fewer side-effects and better quality of life for patients.

As Dr. Dimitrios Moraitis, head and neck surgeon and scientific associate at HYGEIA Hospital, noted, “To date, our team has successfully performed various oncologic and diagnostic surgical procedures in the area of the buccopharynx with the help of robotic technology and without any complications. Note that the patient returned to his everyday activities in a week, while his speech and ability to swallow were not affected after the surgery. Without robotic technology, this procedure would involve a mandibulectomy to access the tumor, with long hospitalization, lasting several days. The success is that the patient is cancer-free and fully functional one year post-surgery.

Much of the discussion at the 5th International Symposium on Upper Respiratory Tract Cancers at the Athens Crowne Plaza on 17 & 18 May focused on buccopharynx cancers and the use of robotic technology.