Author Affiliations: Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, North Carolina.
We highly commend the efforts of Sinclair et al1 in bringing an important yet frequently overlooked facet of transoral robotic surgery (TORS)—patient perceptions and functional outcomes relating to quality-of-life measures—into the spotlight. The authors used a subjective measure of swallowing function from the M. D. Anderson Dysphagia Inventory to assess patient-perceived dysphagia-specific quality-of-life outcomes in patients treated with TORS. However, an objective measure of dysphagia must be used to ascertain the functional impact of head and neck cancer treatment modalities. The penetration-aspiration scale (PAS) and the modified barium swallow provide excellent techniques for assessing swallowing function and risk of aspiration.
Sanders BP, Babbar P. The Need for Further Evaluation of Objective Parameters of Swallowing Function After Transoral Robotic Surgery. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(4):432–433. doi:10.1001/archoto.2012.113