San Antonio surgeons perform first successful robotic throat cancer surgery

A woman is recovering today after having a cancerous tumor removed from the back of her throat. Actually, there is probably more than one woman in that situation, but not many of them are waking up today without an incision scar somewhere on her head. She's the first successful patient to undergo robotic surgery for throat cancer, and her doctors are optimistic about her prognosis.

The robot, named da Vinci, was employed at the San Anotonio Methodist Hospital. Dr. Nathan Hales performed the surgery, which involves inserting the tiny robot into the patient's mouth and then remotely controlling it with a sophisticated computer terminal. He said instead of being admitted to the hospital for 7-10 days, the patient will likely be ready to leave in as little as three days.

In addition, she was able to eat and drink almost as normal within the next day. Patients of traditional throat cancer surgeries have to wait for up to a week before that's possible. "As a head and neck surgeon, having one more tool or one more method that we can address these cancers, it's advantageous for all of us. It gives us one more way to provide hope and help for patients," Hales said.

[via KENS]