OBJECTIVES: To describe the early post-operative course of patients undergoing transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Study Design: Prospective cohort study Methods: Early measures of speech and swallow function by speech-language pathologists were recorded on our first 20 patients undergoing TORS on post-operative day (POD) 1. Results: All patients underwent TORS for oropharyngeal tumors (T1-T4). All patients were extubated before POD 2. All patients had fully intelligible speech post-operatively and did not need assistive communication devices. No patients required tracheotomies. Three patients had percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes placed in anticipation of chemoradiation. All patients were discharged home tolerating liquid or soft diets. One patient was treated in the emergency room for postoperative dehydration that responded to IV fluids and one patient had a post-operative pneumonia. Neither of these patients required readmission or placement of feeding tubes. Conclusions: Early post-operative speech and swallow function in patients undergoing TORS for oropharyngeal tumors is excellent with immediate return to oral intake and fully intelligible speech.
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