Press Release

Transoral Robotics Forge Easier Treatment and Recovery


Blood loss is minimized. Hospitalization is shorter. Complications are lower. Swallowing and speaking is quicker. It's truly a win-win for the patient.

-Edward Damrose, MD, Chief, SHC Division of Laryngeal Surgery

John Ayers didn't hesitate to pursue the chemotherapy and radiation recommended to treat his Stage 4 tongue cancer. But something happened after that treatment that typically didn't happen.

You could tell me all you want about the robot, but what's going to make it run is the person. I said to myself, 'This is the man I want to go to because he knows what he's talking about.'

-John Ayers, patient, Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Stanford laryngeal surgeon Edward Damrose, meeting with John Ayers and his wife, Nancy, found a way to use transoral robotic surgery to rid Ayers' throat of enough scar tissue to allow surgery to protect his life from the thyroid cancer and, beyond that, to restore the reliability of his ability to breathe and eat.

It's only a question of a few days before Ayers will have complete freedom to eat. He has in mind a certain brand of hamburger for his first meal. "The most important message I'd like to get out there is that you don't give up," he said. "No matter what anybody says—you don't give up."

About Stanford Health Care

Stanford Health Care (SHC) seeks to heal humanity through science and compassion one patient at a time, through its commitment to care, educate, and discover.  Across its health system of inpatient care, outpatient health centers, medical groups, health plan offerings, care navigation and virtual care services, Stanford Health Care provides patients with the very best in health and care through its unique leading edge and coordinated care approach.

Stanford Health Care is widely recognized for delivering the highest levels of care and compassion, while also discovering breakthroughs for treating cancer, heart disease, brain disorders, primary care issues, and many other conditions.  Stanford Health Care and its Stanford Hospital, along with Stanford Children’s Health and the Stanford University School of Medicine, are committed to delivering Stanford Medicine excellence to each and every patient and family served.

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