Department of Otorhinolaryngology


Transoral Robotics Surgery (TORS) Training

The University of Pennsylvania TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Training Program

In addition to our research program, one of the primary missions of the TransOral Robotic Surgery Program at the University of the University of Pennsylvania has been in the arena of training.   Prior to FDA approval of TORS Drs. Weinstein and O’Malley focused training efforts on both American Surgeons and international surgeons who were both qualified from the standpoint of Head and Surgery background and has access to the da Vinci Surgical System in their hospitals.  Also, prior to FDA approval training of American surgeons was limited to a handful of qualified physicians who were then encouraged to begin their own clinical research programs.  Also prior to FDA approval surgeons from 14 different countries were trained in the TORS technique.   Since FDA approval of TORS in December, 2009 the training program has been transformed to offer state of the art TORS training by combining case observation with hands on animal and cadaver training in the fully equipped Glenolden Robotic Training Facility.

For a Multimedia Introductory Presentation of TORS click here.

For patient information on TORS which was invented and developed at PENN and appointment information click here.

For information on the World Robotic Symposium TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) 2010, Orlando, Florida April 11th 2010 please scroll down


TransOral Robotic Surgery(TORS) Training Materials

Drs. O’Malley and Weinstein have been actively involved in creating TORS training materials.  These include a comprehensive procedure guide and training videos as well as numerous lectures which provide general as well as specific understanding of the TORS technique.

TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Procedure GuideClick Here – Download a PDF of the guide to the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative management of patients with TORS.

The University of Pennsylvania TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Training Videos

TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Full Length Procedure Videos –View full length videos of the most common TORS procedures – narrated by Gregory S. Weinstein, M.D.

TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Intraoperative Setup Video – View a comprehensive video that gives insight into how to setup the operating room for TORS, how to place the mouth retractors and how to dock the robotic cart – narrated by Gregory S. Weinstein, M.D.

ATTENTION: These videos are full length physician training videos and viewers who have sensitivities to watching real operative videos with exposure of tissues and bleeding should not watch these videos. 

Videos presented as a courtesy of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Logo for Intuitive Surgical

To view TORS Training Videos click here.


Training options at PENN for Surgeons Interested in Establishing a TORS Program

At present the only place to obtain complete training in TORS is at the University of Pennsylvania.  An example of how a schedule of training could be arranged at PENN would be: (1) a porcine lab on Wednesday, (2) clinic observation on Thursday AM, (3) cadaver dissection with me on Thursday afternoon and (4) OR observation of 1 to 3 cases on Friday. There will also be didactics on Friday. This is obviously dependent on OR and Training Center availability. Naturally there are no hands on training for actual patients and this portion of the training is observation only.

Alternatively, surgeons who are relatively close to the University of Pennsylvania can schedule the procine portion of the lab at a separate time, but the cadaver training on Thursdays is always coupled with operating observation the next day.

It is advisable that surgeons who are coming from a distance get their porcine training here at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Given the long distances travelled most international surgeons come for a full week and spend time observing in the outpatient clinic as well as the operating room. 

For those who are not ready to commit to procine or cadaver training, case observation alone is also available. 

In order to schedule training you must contact your Intuitive Rep to discuss the training pathway. The way to figure out who your Intuitive Rep is for your hospital is to find the person in your operating room who is responsible for the robot. In our case it is the unit nurse, in your case it may be an administrator.

For more information about TORS please click here.

For patient information on TORS which was invented and developed at PENN and appointment information click here.


It is with great pleasure that we extend an invitation the TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS), World Robotic Symposium 2010.  A collaborative effort between the Florida Hospital Global Robotic Institute, The Society of Robotic Surgeons and the Florida Society of Otololaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery to be held on April 11th 2010 at the Disney Yacht and Beach Club, Walt Disney World Florida.  A special session on the FDA approved robotic thyroidectomy will also be given.  You will hear and meet the most experienced TORS surgeons.  The special focus of the meeting will include:

  • TORS for Benign and Malignant Lesions of the Pharynx and Larynx
  • TORS for Parapharyngeal Space and Skull Base Lesions
  • Robotic Thyroidectomy
  • Robotic Sleep Apnea Surgery

In addition, this will also be the first meeting of the Society of Robotic Surgery.  Our specialty has played a major role in the establishment of this society and we expect this society to play a major role in the establishment of TORS within Head and Neck Surgery. 

Finally, what better venue to both learn about this exciting new development of robotics in our specialty than the Disney Beach and Yacht Club which is walking distance to Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center. 

Please click here for more information and for online registration.

Please click here to download a PDF of the meeting brochure and registration material. 

April 11, 2010
Welcome and Overview
Gregory S. Weinstein, M.D.
Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS): From Bench to Bedside
    Gregory S. Weinstein, M.D. and Bert W. O;Malley Jr., M.D.
TORS: Radical Tonsillectomy
    William Carole, M.D. (University of Alabama)
9:20-9: 50
TORS: Tongue Base Resection
    Eric Moore, M.D. (Mayo Clinic)
Expert Panel: TORS - The Challenging Cases
    Bert O’Malley, M.D., Eric Moore, M.D., William Carole, M.D.
Break/ Exhibition
TORS: Parpharyngeal Space Resections
    Fernando Danelon, M.D. (Sao Paulo)
Lunch - With Robotic Thyroidectomy Session
    F. Chris Holsinger, M.D. (MD Anderson) and Ron Kuppersmith, M.D.
TORS: Skull Base Resections
    Bert W. O’Malley, Jr., M.D. (University of Pennsylvania)
TORS: Primary versus Secondary Neck Dissection – Pros and Cons
    Richard Smith, M.D. (Albert Einstein Medical Center, New York)
TORS: Supraglottic Partial Laryngectomy
    George Lawson, (Louvain, Belgium)
TORS: The Role of Sleep Endoscopy in Patient Triage and Comparison of Open versus TORS Tongue Base Resection for Sleep Apnea
    Claudio Vicini (Italy)
TORS: Preoperative Evaluation and Surgical Techniques – The Australian Experience with TORS for Sleep Apnea
    Suren Krishnan, M.D. (Adelaide, Australia)
Break/ Exhibits
Plenary Session – 8 minute abstracts and/or Video Presentations
Closing Remarks
    Gregory S. Weinstein, M.D.