How I do it: transnasal retraction during transoral robotic oropharyngeal resection


Collapse of the resection plane presents a frustrating problem during transoral robotic resection, in a situation already typified by limited vision and access for instruments. We present a quick and cost-effective retraction technique to effectively mitigate this issue and increase the ease and reliability of robotic oropharyngeal resection. This technique utilises a simple transnasal apparatus to create greater exposure of the resection plane. A Y-suction catheter is inserted into the oropharynx via the nasal cavity. A silk suture is then used to attach it to the oropharyngeal resection specimen. When pulled from the nasal cavity, this apparatus adds a non-intrusive, tremor-free fixation point that pulls the resected specimen along a unique cephalo-posterior vector. This significantly improves access and vision of the desired dissection plane. The entire process takes approximately 1–2 min per side to properly execute. It can be adapted for various pathologies and subsites of the oropharynx. This transnasal technique is a simple, minimally invasive, and inexpensive method for improving wound tension during transoral oropharyngeal resection.

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Correspondence to J. C. Hodge.

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Michael Gouzos declares that he has no conflict of interest. Neeraj Sethi declares that he has no conflict of interest. Andrew Foreman declares that he has no conflict of interest. Suren Krishnan has received educational grants from Intuitive Surgical™ and Medrobotics™. JC Hodge received educational grants from Intuitive Surgical™ and Medrobotics™.

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Gouzos, M., Sethi, N., Foreman, A. et al. How I do it: transnasal retraction during transoral robotic oropharyngeal resection. J Robotic Surg (2019).

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  • Transoral robotic surgery
  • Oropharynx
  • Transnasal
  • Retraction