A man with a cancer called chordoma, which afflicted the bones in the skull base and spine, has had a novel transoral robotic surgery (TORS) performed on him to remove a difficult to access tumor. The clinical team at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which developed a set of TORS techniques, managed to reach the tumor using robotic hands controlled by a surgeon at a console (we believe it was probably a da Vinci robotically asssisted system from Intuitive Surgical). They then reconstructed the area using bone and rods once the tumor was excised.
The challenging work was also performed around highly fragile and critical structures. Thanks to the capabilities of modern technology, though, the surgeons were able to avoid injuring the spinal column while using ultrasonic cutters to get at the wanted bones, remove the tumor, and reconstruct the patient that is now back working his old job.
Image credit: Penn Medicine
Via: Penn Medicine…