Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) offers potential advantages and benefits over other current treatment modalities in surgical procedures of the head and neck, but in some patients, inadequate exposure to target tissues reduces the number of cases that can be performed by this method. Transoral retractors are used to provide access to a patient’s oral cavity and larynx during these procedures, but existing retractors are not optimized for use in procedures utilizing robotic surgical systems.
A Mayo Clinic investigator has designed an improved transoral retractor to optimize exposure to the oral cavity, hypopharynx, and larynx while also providing added functionality. The retractor includes a universal handle which articulates with either a gallows or standard laryngoscope chest brace. The spatula blade shape is designed to elevate and retract the body of the tongue away from the surgical field. The device also provides a wide aperture to allow improved access for robotic and handheld surgical devices and exposure of target tissues, while protecting the patient’s normal tissues from damage.