PURPOSE: Robot-assisted neck dissection (ND) in patients with head and neck cancer has been developed as a plausible substitute for conventional surgery and it provides an excellent cosmetic outcome. The authors hypothesized that surgery for submandibular gland (SMG) cancer could be achieved with a gasless retroauricular (RA) approach using the robotic system. This study evaluated the feasibility of robot-assisted ND using an RA approach for SMG cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Primary tumor resection with robot-assisted ND using an RA incision was performed in 6 patients with SMG cancer.
RESULTS: All cases of robot-assisted ND combined with primary tumor resection were conducted successfully without any significant intraoperative complication, need for an additional incision, or conversion to open conventional ND. The amount and duration of drainage, length of hospital stay, number of retrieved lymph nodes, and complications were generally acceptable. The postoperative scar was completely hidden by the auricle and hair.
CONCLUSIONS: Robot-assisted ND with primary tumor excision using an RA approach is a feasible and useful method, with excellent cosmetic results, for surgical treatment of selected cases of SMG cancer.
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