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Nasopharynx access by minimally invasive transoral robotic surgery: anatomical study

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This study was made to assess the possibilities and limits of minimally invasive transoral approach to the nasopharynx using the Da Vinci surgical robot. It was conducted on eleven corpses, without need for palatine split; using surgical robots Da Vinci models S HD and Si HD. We have defined “anatomical key landmarks” on all sides of the nasopharynx, to confirm our hypothesis. All of the nasopharynx could be visualized and transorally reached by the robot with a validation of all the key landmarks. The advantages and shortcomings of this technique were discussed, as well as the ability to use those results on human subjects. This study allowed us to show the possibility to access the nasopharynx by minimally invasive transoral robotic surgery. This new technique opens a new field for surgery of the skull base or the nasopharynx.

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The authors wish to thank Intuitive Surgical and Antoine Missistrano, the Ecole Européenne de Chirurgie as well as the Centre du Don des Corps de l’Université Paris Descartes, the Ligue contre le Cancer and the Fondation des « Gueules Cassées » for their help, and Mélodie Garcia for her proof-reading.

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Dr. Amine Harichane, Dr. Dorian Chauvet, and Pr. Stéphane Hans declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Harichane, A., Chauvet, D. & Hans, S. Nasopharynx access by minimally invasive transoral robotic surgery: anatomical study. J Robotic Surg 12, 687–692 (2018).

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