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Head and Neck Cancer Patients Benefit From Robotic Surgery

Minimally Invasive Procedure Gets Patients Back on Their Feet Faster

A minimally invasive procedure using robotic technology is helping patients with head and neck cancers recover faster, says Giovana Thomas, M.D., a head and neck oncologic surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Robotic Surgery Program for the Department of Otolaryngology at UHealth. She adds in many cases the robotic procedure eliminates the need for radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Dr. Giovana Thomas is a head and neck oncologic surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Robotic Surgery Program for the Department of Otolaryngology at UHealth. For more information about how our team at Sylvester treats head and neck cancers, click here or visit the UHealth blog.

MEET BRUCE HUNTER:

“A few months ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 1, HPV throat cancer,” says Bruce Hunter.

When Bruce Hunter was named Man of the Year for the American Cancer Society’s Wine and Spirits gala, he had no idea he would be speaking as a cancer survivor.

“I was very lucky and very blessed that they did find it,” Bruce says.

Bruce went to see Dr. Giovana Thomas, a head and neck oncologic surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Robotic Surgery Program for the Department of Otolaryngology at UHealth. She offered Bruce a minimally invasive procedure.

“Basically what it is, is a technique that we use to access very difficult areas in the throat that are not easily accessible without having to split the jaw or split the lip,” says Giovana Thomas, M.D.

Transoral robotic surgery means a faster recovery for patients often eliminating the need for further therapies.

“The patient may avoid any additional treatment that may consist of radiation and of chemotherapy. And we know that less treatment for the patient means less side effects,” Dr. Thomas says.

Dr. Thomas successfully removed the tumor on Bruce’s tonsil.

“He did not require any additional treatments,” says Dr. Thomas.

One month later, Bruce was speaking at the cancer gala, thanks to robotic technology and the entire Sylvester team.

“They did a wonderful job through the surgery, and especially with robotic surgery, which really was a lifesaver,” says Bruce.

FOCUSING ON YOU

Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine is a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit YouTube channels for UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Above content provided by UHealth, the University of Miami Health System