Practice patterns in transoral robotic surgery: results of an American head and neck society survey

Andrew J. Holcomb, Rachael Kammer, Allison Holman, Tessa Goldsmith, Vasu Divi, Heather M. Starmer, Joseph Zenga, Ryan Li, Urjeet A. Patel, Jeremy D. Richmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To understand perioperative practices for transoral robotic surgery (TORS) among academic medical centers. An electronic cross-sectional survey was distributed to fellows and program directors participating in 49 American Head and Neck Society fellowships. Operative decisions, medical and swallowing management, and disposition planning were assessed. Thirty-eight responses were collected (77.6%). Twenty-three centers (60.5%) performed > 25 cases annually with the remainder performing fewer. The da Vinci Si was the most commonly used platform (n = 28, 73.7%). A majority of institutions advocated tailored resection to adequate margins (n = 27, 71.1%) over fixed subunit-based resection (n = 11, 28.9%). Most surgeons (n = 29, 76.3%) performed neck dissection concurrent with TORS, and 89.5% (n = 34) routinely ligated external carotid artery branches. A minority of institutions (n = 17, 45.9%) endorsed a standardized TORS care pathway. Antibiotic choices and duration varied, the most common choice being ampicillin/sulbactam (n = 21, 55.3%), and the most common duration being 24 h or less (n = 22, 57.9%). Multimodal analgesia was used at 36 centers (94.7%), steroids at 31 centers (81.6%), and pharmacologic venous thromboembolic prophylaxis at 29 centers (76.3%). Nasogastric feeding tubes were placed during surgery at 20 institutions (54.1%). Speech-language pathologists routinely performed postoperative swallow evaluations at 29 (78.4%) sites. Practice patterns are variable among institutions performing TORS. While certain surgical and postoperative practices were quite common, many institutions reported no standard TORS care pathway. Further understanding of the impact of individual practices on outcomes is necessary to develop evidence-based perioperative protocols for TORS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-556
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Enhanced recovery after surgery
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Oropharynx cancer
  • Transoral robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Practice patterns in transoral robotic surgery: results of an American head and neck society survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this