A doctor at Willis-Knighton Medical Center has performed the first transoral robotic surgery in the Ark-La-Tex, and he says all four patients who underwent the procedures are recovering well. And they don't have the discomfort or scars that follow traditional surgery for the same diagnoses. Dr. G.E. Ghali with WK/University Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery says TORS is a revolutionary approach to the management of sleep apnea and head and neck cancer patients. A news release from Willis-Knighton says the Food and Drug Administration approved TORS -- a minimally-invasive, endoscopic technique -- in December 2009 for removal of early-stage tumors of the tongue base, throat, larynx and skull base. In the past, those cancers have been removed through either an incision in the neck or through the mouth, which often requires splitting the lower lip and dividing the jaw. Those types of surgeries are often painful and disfiguring, with long hospitalizations. Dr. Ghali says TORS is a less-invasive, more precise approach, with a quicker recovery time.

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