Robotic surgery comes with a significant cost, however. The robot itself costs close to $1.5 million dollars; maintenance costs run about $140,000 to $340,000 per year and each case requires about $500 worth of disposable equipment (Open Access Surgery. 2010;3:99-107). Thoughtful otolaryngologists and head and neck surgeons are still comparing the outcomes of robotic surgery and traditional treatments; an examination of the cost-benefit ratio of different procedures is also underway.
Transoral Robotic Surgery
Perhaps the most widely accepted use of robotic surgery in otolaryngology is transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Developed in 2005 by Bert O’Malley, MD, and Gregory Weinstein, MD, FACS, professors of otolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, TORS was approved by the FDA in 2009 for the removal of T1 and T2 cancers of the oropharynx. Only about 200 surgeons in the U.S. are currently qualified to perform TORS, said Dr. Weinstein, who is also the first president of the Society of Robotic Surgery (SRS). He believes that the number of qualified surgeons will increase. | ← Previous | | | Next → | Single Page