Analysis of post-transoral robotic-assisted surgery hemorrhage: Frequency, outcomes, and prevention

Rajarsi Mandal, Umamaheswar Duvvuri, Robert L. Ferris, Thomas M. Kaffenberger, Garret W. Choby, Seungwon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background Transoral robotic-assisted surgery (TORS) carries a small, but not insignificant, risk of life-threatening postsurgical hemorrhage. The purpose of this study was to analyze all post-TORS hemorrhagic events at our institution to establish preventative recommendations. Methods We conducted a retrospective review of 224 consecutive patients who underwent TORS for any indication at a single tertiary care institution. Results Twenty-two patients (n = 22; 9.82%) had varying degrees of postoperative bleeding. An impaired ability to protect the airway at the time of hemorrhage increased the rate of severe complications. Prophylactic transcervical arterial ligation did not significantly decrease overall postoperative bleeding rates (9.1% vs 9.9%; p = 1.00); however, there was a trend toward decreased hemorrhage severity in prophylactically ligated patients (3.0% vs 7.3%; p =.7040). Conclusion Prophylactic transcervical arterial ligation may reduce the incidence of severe bleeding following TORS. Post-TORS patients displaying an inability to protect the airway should be strongly considered for prophylactic tracheostomy to assist airway protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E776-E782
JournalHead and Neck
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • TORS bleeding
  • TORS complications
  • TORS hemorrhage
  • prophylactic arterial ligation
  • transoral robotic-assisted surgery (TORS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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