CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Laryngo-Rhino-Otol 2018; 97(S 01): S231-S278
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-121791
Eigentümer und Copyright ©Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2018

Robotic Surgery – Who is The Boss?

Article in several languages: deutsch | English
Patrick J. Schuler
1  Klinik für Hals-Nasen-Ohrenheilkunde, Kopf- und Halschirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Ulm
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Publication History

Publication Date:
22 March 2018 (online)



In the head and neck region, great potential is seen in robot-assisted surgery (RAS). Mainly in cancer surgery, the use of robotic systems seems to be of interest. Until today, two robotic systems (DaVinci® und FLEX®) have gained approval for clinical use in the head and neck region, and multiple other systems are currently in pre-clinical testing. Although, certain groups of patients may benefit from RAS, no unbiased randomized clinical studies are available. Until today, it was not possible to satisfactorily prove any advantage of RAS as compared to standard procedures. The limited clinical benefit and the additional financial burden seem to be the main reasons, why the comprehensive application of RAS has not been realized so far.This review article describes the large variety of clinical applications for RAS in the head and neck region. In addition, the financial and technical challenges, as well as ongoing developments of RAS are highlighted. Special focus is put on risks associated with RAS and current clinical studies. We believe, that RAS will find its way into clinical routine during the next years. Therefore, medical staff will have to increasingly face the technical, scientific and ethical features of RAS.