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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Feb;138(2):158-66. doi: 10.1001/archoto.2011.1199.

Transoral robotic surgery using the thulium:YAG laser: a prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To compare thulium:YAG laser-assisted transoral robotic surgery (TY:TORS) and conventional electrocautery-equipped TORS (EC:TORS) in patients undergoing transoral resection of upper aerodigestive tract malignant neoplasms.


Prospective matched cohort study.


Tertiary academic referral center.


Fifteen patients undergoing TY:TORS were matched on the basis of tumor site, clinical T stage, sex, and age with 30 control subjects undergoing EC:TORS.


The primary outcome was a comparison between the feasibility of TY:TORS compared with EC:TORS. The secondary outcome was a comparison between the safety and functional outcome of TY:TORS compared with EC:TORS in patients undergoing resection of upper aerodigestive tract malignant neoplasms.


All the tumors underwent complete excision with negative margins. Estimated blood loss was minimal (<150 mL) for 87% of TY:TORS patients (13 of 15) and 63% of EC:TORS controls (19 or 30). Intraoperative pharyngotomy was reported in 8% of TY:TORS patients (1 of 13) and 42% of EC:TORS controls (11 of 30) (P = .03). Postoperative pain was greater in EC:TORS compared with TY:TORS (P = .02). No statistically significant differences were noted in hemostasis, postoperative bleeding rates, or other complications.


Compared with EC:TORS, TY:TORS seems feasible and safe. In addition, TY:TORS resulted in fewer intraoperative pharyngotomies and less postoperative pain than did EC:TORS, which may be because of decreased collateral thermal damage, improved visualization, and finer cutting using the thulium laser.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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