Adjusting to life after a diagnosis of head or neck cancer can be difficult. It can be a long road to recovery after invasive surgery to remove the tumor, which is only made worse by extensive radiation treatment and all the side effects that come with it.

Simply enjoying a meal again after surgery can become near impossible. However with TORS – transoral robotic surgery – your battle with cancer can become far more comfortable.

That’s certainly what our TORS patients have told us here at Scottsdale Ear Nose & Throat. When it comes to their quality of life, there are two major improvements that we see time and time again.

Swallowing without soreness sooner.


Clear speech regained faster.

These two essential functions make the world of difference. They have enabled our patients to get back to enjoying mealtimes and expressing themselves as soon as possible. This has a huge impact on their social interactions and their state of mind.

Traditional surgery for head and neck cancer involves splitting open the jaw or throat to gain access to the tumor. Cutting through so many muscles, nerves and tendons is what results in longer recovery times and difficulties with speech and eating in the long-term.


TORS cuts down recovery times.

With TORS there are no external cuts as the tumor is accessed via the mouth. And with robotic arms making precise cuts, as instructed by your surgeon, damage to other surrounding tissues is kept to an absolute minimum. What does this ultimately mean?


Our patients can leave the hospital just 1 or 2 days after TORS.

Getting back to their lives sooner and with a shorter road to recovery ultimately has a positive effect on the emotional and mental wellbeing of our patients. There is also the cosmetic side of things to consider.


TORS does not leave patients with any external scars.

When the time comes to plan the next stage of treatment, usually radiation or chemotherapy, some TORS patients find they do not require as much.

With improved speech, swallowing and eating and less soreness and tissue damage, TORS really does have the power to improve your quality of life.


To find out more about TORS and whether it could work for you, book a consultation with one of our highly skilled head and neck surgeons at Scottsdale Ear Nose & Throat today. 

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Dr. Kurt E. Heiland, MD

Dr. Heiland specializes in treating ear, nose, and throat issues with comprehensive pediatric and adult medical and surgical procedures, including head and neck surgery. Dr. Heiland is also qualified to treat balance problems and is a member of VEDA (Vestibular Disorders Association).
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.