Aims: To assess the role of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) in managing failures of conventional transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) in cases with difficult laryngeal exposure. Methods: Retrospective analysis of 3 patients with difficult laryngeal exposure treated with TORS. All 3 cases failed to be managed by conventional TLM after repeated attempts by experienced surgeons. In 2 cases, the initial disease was laryngeal cancer treated by a cricohyoidoepiglottopexy, with an obstructing residual epiglottis. The last case was a bilateral Reinke disease submitted to repeated TLM procedures, producing multiple supraglottic and glottic scars. In all cases, the difficult exposure was produced by a combination of concurrent elements including insufficient mouth opening, short and stiff neck, macroglossia and high-positioned larynx. Results: Two patients were exposed by means of a Davis Meyer mouth gag. The other patient was managed by a Feyh-Kastenbauer device. The key of the success was the possibility to work 'around the corner' (30Â° angle view) where straight alignment of the larynx was impossible. Conclusions: Where possible, a TORS approach should be considered complementary to TLM in cases of very difficult or even impossible conventional transoral laryngoscopic approach. Â© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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