Early results of robotic assisted nasopharyngectomy for recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma


  • Conflict of Interest: Raymond K. Tsang has disclosed that he has a potential conflict of interest because of the clinical research grant he received for robotic surgery from Intuitive Surgical Inc in 2011.



Minimally invasive nasopharyngectomy with the da Vinci surgical robot has been shown to be a feasible operation for salvage of recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The current case series presents the early results of robotic nasopharyngectomy.


We conducted a prospective series of patients who underwent robotic nasopharyngectomy for recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a single institution.


Twelve patients underwent robotic nasopharyngectomy. The median operating time was 225 minutes. Median follow-up time was 23.8 months. Nine patients had clear resection margins, 2 patients had close margins, and 1 patient had positive margin. Two patients developed local recurrence and 1 patient had distant metastasis. Two patients in the cohort died of unrelated causes. The 2-year local control rate was 86%. The 2-year overall survival and disease-free survival was 83% and 61%, respectively.


Early results of robotic nasopharyngectomy showed a high local control rate. The operating time was comparable to open surgery and morbidities were low. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 37: 788–793, 2015