Precision head and neck surgery: robotics and surgical vision technology. Current opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery Holsinger, F. C., Birkeland, A. C., Topf, M. C. 2021; 29 (2): 161–67


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: As the molecular basis of head and neck cancer becomes more clearly defined, precision medicine has gradually refined the multidisciplinary treatment paradigm for patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Although precision medicine is often thought to refer to new molecular diagnostics or unique medical therapy, the recent adoption of robotic surgery has ushered in the era of 'precision' head and neck surgery.RECENT FINDINGS: Surgeons now routinely utilize a virtual reality environment to reduce the morbidity of head and neck surgical care and improve oncologic and functional outcomes. The development and subsequent FDA approval of the da Vinci SP system, a single-arm system with a flexible camera, has allowed for improved visualization and access to the deep oropharynx and larynx. Groups investigating anti-EGFR antibodies tagged with fluorescent dye as well as inherent autofluorescence differences between normal and cancerous mucosal tissues show promise for improving positive surgical margin rates.SUMMARY: The evolution of robotics and visualization for oropharyngeal cancer represents a novel and innovative utilization of new technology to improve care. Further advancements in techniques, from refinement of the robotic platform itself, to novel real-time tumour imaging options will be critical to further advance precision care for these patients.

View details for DOI 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000706

View details for PubMedID 33664199