National Analysis of Oropharyngeal Salivary Gland Malignancies Treated With Transoral Robotic Surgery

Craig A. Bollig, Kevin Wang, Pablo Llerena, Sidharth V. Puram, Patrik J. Pipkorn, Ryan S. Jackson, Vanessa C. Stubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: (1) To compare perioperative outcomes and overall survival of patients with oropharyngeal salivary gland malignancies (OPSGMs) treated with transoral robotic surgery (TORS) versus other approaches. (2) To identify clinical factors associated with a robotic surgical approach. Study Design: Retrospective analysis of the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Setting: NCDB. Methods: Data obtained from the NCDB were analyzed between 2010 and 2017 for patients with T1-T4a OPSGMs without distant metastases treated surgically. Patients were stratified by surgical approach (TORS vs nonrobotic), and clinicopathologic factors were compared with the t test or chi-square test for continuous or categorical variables, respectively. Overall survival was analyzed by patient demographics and clinical factors according to Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models. Factors associated with TORS were assessed with logistic regression. Results: A total of 785 patients were analyzed. A non–soft palate primary site (odds ratio, 12.9; 95% CI, 6.6-25.2) and treatment at an academic facility (odds ratio, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2-3.5) were independently associated with TORS. There were no significant differences in the positive margin rate, 30-day mortality, or overall survival between the groups. The 30-day unplanned readmission rate was higher in patients treated with TORS versus nonrobotic resections (5.8% vs 1.7%, P =.0004). When stratified by tumor subsite, there was a significant decrease in hospital length of stay in patients with tongue base tumors undergoing TORS versus nonrobotic resections (P =.029). Conclusion: This study suggests that TORS may be a viable treatment modality for appropriately selected patients with OPSGM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-893
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • salivary gland cancer
  • transoral robotic surgery (TORS)


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