Transoral robotic surgery

Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) has been performed extensively in Europe and the USA and at Guy’s Hospital since 2018.

We use a robotic system for certain types of throat surgery which is less invasive than conventional surgery.

With robot-assisted surgery, patients recover quicker, have less pain and have a better recovery, especially with swallowing. 

Robotic surgery

At Guy’s we have 2 types of robotic systems.

The da Vinci robotic system has been used at Guy’s Hospital for many years.

Versius is a newer robotic system. 

Both robots are also regularly used to perform prostate, bladder and lung surgery.

The robots do not carry out any procedures on their own.

The surgeon, sitting at a console near the patient, controls the robot. The surgeon uses the robot's arms, which are connected to surgical instruments in the patient’s mouth.

The advantage of the robot is that it allows the surgeon to perform complex manoeuvres, such as removing tumours without breaking up the tumour itself.


There are some risks that are associated with any type of surgery which include:

  • bleeding (during and, or, after the operation)
  • infection
  • airway obstruction

The risks of using the robot include:

  • damage to the blood vessels and other organs from the instruments.

Your surgical team will give you more details about the risks associated with head and neck surgery.

Other treatment options

You can have your surgery in the conventional way, and if you chose to do so, your care will not be affected. You will be given time to think about your decision, and opportunities to discuss this with a member of the surgical team.

We want to involve you in decisions about your care and treatment. If you decide to go ahead, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This states that you agree to have the treatment and you understand what it involves.

You can read more about giving your consent.

After surgery

Your surgical team will discuss the care you will receive after the operation with you, including how long you are likely to stay in hospital.

While you are in hospital we will assess your pain and your swallow function to help understand the effects of the surgery.

You will have a follow-up appointment in the head and neck surgery clinic and we will ask about your recovery, for example, the time taken to return to your normal activities.

Resource number 4535/VER2
Date published: June 2023
Review date: June 2026

Contact us

Head and neck cancer service

Service manager for Head and Neck phone 020 7188 7691

Consultant ENT Head and Neck surgeon phone 020 7188 2213

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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