Transoral robotic cleft palate surgeryTransoral robotic cleft palate surgery
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Translational Neurosciences (TNW)
2016Lawrence :Alliance communications group division allen press, 2016
The cleft palate craniofacial journal. - Pittsburgh, Pa
53(2016):3, p. 326-331
University of Antwerp
Objective: This study aimed to assess the safety and feasibility of transoral robotic surgery for the reconstruction of soft palatal clefts. Design: The application of transoral robotic surgery for soft palate muscle reconstruction was investigated. The da Vinci Surgical Robot was first used on a cadaver to assess the optimal positioning of the patient and the robot. The robot was then used for the dissection and reconstruction of palatal muscles in 10 consecutive patients with palatal clefts. The procedures were documented using video and still photography. A group of 30 control patients were subjected to surgery with manual instruments. Surgical and clinical outcomes were evaluated with at least 6 months of follow-up (8 ± 1 months). Results: The use of the surgical robot on a cadaver provided great dexterity and excellent 3D depth perception. The transoral access was efficient and safe for the precise dissection, reorientation, and suturing of palatal muscles. In our series, the surgical duration was longer for the robotic approach than for the manual approach (87 ± 6 minutes versus 122 ± 8 minutes, P < .0001). No intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred in either group. Conclusions: A robotic surgical approach can be used safely for palatal surgery. We believe that the precise dissection of the palatal muscles provided by the robotic system might reduce damage to the vascularization and innervation of these muscles, as well as damage to the mucosal surfaces that could cause fistula formation. In addition, this technique might improve palatal function and Eustachian tube function in cleft palate patients.