Utility of the Highly Articulated Flex Robotic System for Head and Neck Procedures: A Cadaveric Study

Hillary Newsome, Magis Mandapathil, Yoon Woo Koh, Umamaheswar Duvvuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Robotic head and neck surgery potentially reduces the morbidity associated with traditional open procedures. This study's goal was to employ a novel highly articulated robotic system (Flex Robotic System) for head and neck procedures, including a postauricular facelift approach thyroidectomy, submandibular gland (SMG) removal, and cervical lymphadenectomy. Study Design: It was hypothesized that the Medrobotics Flex Robotic System could be used for transcervical head and neck surgical procedures. Methods: Three fresh upper body human cadavers were used. The Flex Robotic System was used to complete a thyroidectomy, neck dissection, and SMG removal on each cadaver. Results: A postauricular incision and flap was manually raised. The robotic system was positioned on the right side of the cadaver's head. The system's manually controlled flexible instruments and highly shapeable, robot-assisted scope were used to perform a thyroid lobectomy. Neck dissection and SMG removal were also performed. Conclusions: Although a promising technology, the current robotic system (Intuitive Surgical Inc, Sunnyvale, California, USA) has limitations due to its rigid and large configuration, which decreases exposure and access. The new system's shapeable, computer-assisted scope seeks to reduce some of these difficulties and may be better adapted for transcervical approaches to the neck operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-763
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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