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For Patients: About Robotic Head and Neck Surgery

Robotic-assisted head and neck surgery is a cutting-edge technique.

At the UPMC Center for Robotic Head and Neck Surgery, the robotic system allows our surgeons to:

  • Perform less invasive operations to help people with diseases of the head and neck.
  • Operate on small spaces of the mouth, throat, and other hard-to-reach areas of the body with greater ease.
  • Conduct surgery with more precision and control than with standard minimally invasive methods.

Who Robotic Surgery Can Help

Both adults and children can benefit from robotic head and neck surgery, including those with:

  • Tumors or masses of the head and neck, such as:
    • The voice box
    • Tonsil
    • Base of the tongue
  • Thyroid nodules and parathyroid adenomas that require removal without a neck incision
  • Refractory sleep apnea
  • A cleft of the voice box causing aspiration

How Robotic Head and Neck Surgery Works

  • Watching a 3D view of the surgical area from a nearby remote control console, the surgeon uses robotic devices to guide the surgical instruments.
  • Each time the surgeon moves one of the controls, the robotic system scales down the motions, translating them into precise movements at the instrument's tip.
  • The system also filters out any minor hand tremors, enhancing precision and safety.

Advantages of Robotic Surgery

Robotic-assisted head and neck surgery can have many advantages over open surgery and other minimally invasive procedures.

These include:

  • Decreased need for breathing tubes to remove head and neck tumors
  • Reduced scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Less pain

For people with early-stage cancers of the base of the tongue and tonsil, robotic surgery reduces the amount of radiation or chemotherapy.

People with thyroid nodules can have robotic thyroid surgery without a scar in the neck.

Because the device’s arms bend and have a range of motion similar to the human wrist, surgeons are able to move instruments more easily than with standard minimally invasive procedures.

Having better access to hard-to-reach areas makes it possible for surgeons to perform complex operations that may not be possible with other methods.

Our Experts

Learn more about our dedicated experts in robotic treatments for head and neck disorders:

Contact Us

UPMC Center for Robotic Head and Neck Surgery
200 Lothrop Street, Third floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-647-2100

Make an Appointment at the Robotic Head and Neck Surgery Center

Call 412-647-2100 to make an appointment at the UPMC Center for Robotic Head and Neck Surgery.