The Role of Transoral Robotic Surgery for Parapharyngeal Space: Experience of a Tertiary Center

Francesco Chu, Rita De Berardinis, Marta Tagliabue, Stefano Zorzi, Francesco Bandi, Mohssen Ansarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The parapharyngeal space (PPS) is an anatomically and functionally complex region of the craniofacial district. Tumors that originate from this region are rare, and surgery is currently the best practice in the vast majority of cases with different surgical approaches being reported in the literature. Recently, mini-invasive robotic/endoscopic techniques have begun to emerge as effective alternatives in selected cases. In this work, we retrospectively analyzed 17 patients affected by PPS tumors, and managed by transoral robotic surgery (TORS) as a therapeutic or diagnostic procedure. TORS was used alone or combined with a transcervical approach for huge lesions of the PPS, at risk of fragmentation (curative intent). TORS also permitted biopsies of unknown lesions of the PPS to be conducted (diagnostic intent) otherwise unreachable without performing a mandibulotomy. All patients treated with curative intent benefited from radical surgery. No major complications were observed, and tumor fragmentation occurred only in 2 of 17 patients (11.8%). All patients receiving TORS with diagnostic intent were successfully referred to nonsurgical treatments based on the final histhopathological findings. This work also demonstrated TORS to be effective and safe on a larger group of patients compared to our preliminary study in 2016. TORS provides good oncological and functional outcomes when used with curative intent and is an effective diagnostic tool in cases of suspicious lesions of the PPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-120
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Head and neck cancer
  • parapharyngeal space
  • robotic surgery
  • TORS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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