Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for Sleep Apnea in Foley & Daphne, AL


ENT Centers of Excellence in Foley & Daphne, AL is pleased to offer a breakthrough, state-of-the-art surgery called transoral robotic surgery (TORS), a minimally invasive procedure that offers numerous benefits to patients. TORS, using the da Vinci surgical system, can be used for multiple purposes, including the treatment of both sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and head and neck cancers. Dr. Keith Kowal is the only board-certified provider of transoral robotic surgery in the region.

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What is transoral robotic surgery (TORS)?

Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is an advanced procedure that utilizes da Vinci robotic technology and camera (endoscope) guidance to access and treat difficult-to-reach places in the back of the mouth and throat. This type of surgery allows Dr. Kowal to perform less invasive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and head and neck cancers. The entire TORS procedure is performed through the patient’s mouth.

Why is transoral robotic surgery performed?

Dr. Kowal may use robot-assisted transoral surgery to treat:

What does transoral robotic surgery involve?

During transoral robotic surgery for sleep apnea, Dr. Kowal uses an endoscope (a small, flexible tube with a camera on the end) to provide high-resolution visualization of the back of a patient’s mouth and throat. Since this area is hard to reach with conventional surgical tools, Dr. Kowal relies upon the cutting edge da Vinci robot-assisted sleep apnea surgery technology to gain access and surgically treat problem areas. The small, robotically guided instruments are inserted through the patient’s mouth and serve as an extension of the surgeon’s arms. With these instruments and the real-time imagery provided by the endoscope, Dr. Kowal can perform precise, surgical removal of tumors or other problematic tissue deep in the oral cavity, while causing minimal disruption to surrounding tissue. The precision afforded by TORS means that patients get effective treatment for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders without invasive, open surgery and they also experience faster recovery times.

What are the advantages of transoral robotic surgery (TORS)?

Transoral robotic surgery offers numerous benefits, which vary slightly depending on the purpose of the surgery.

Benefits of Transoral Robotic Surgery for Head and Neck Cancers:

  • Minimally invasive compared to traditional head/neck surgeries
  • Tumors can be safely dissected, free from surrounding tissue
  • Little to no disfigurement of the head or neck
  • Decreased days in the hospital during recovery
  • Less postoperative discomfort
  • Improvements in swallowing and speech function are comparable to outcomes with traditional surgical methods
  • No invasive scars
  • May eliminate the need for other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, or may lessen the recommended dosage

Benefits of Transoral Robotic Surgery for Sleep Apnea:

  • Minimally invasive compared to traditional sleep apnea surgeries
  • Problem tissue or mouth and throat structures causing airway obstruction can be carefully removed with minimal disruption to surrounding tissue
  • Effective, long-term relief from airway obstruction
  • Eliminates the need for CPAP mask
  • Less postoperative discomfort
  • No invasive scars

Learn More About Transoral Robotic Surgery for Sleep Apnea in South Alabama

To learn more about transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and to learn whether you may be a candidate for this breakthrough treatment, call our office at 251.943.1117 today or request a consultation at ENT Centers of Excellence by filling out the form on this page.

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