Remote Access Robotic Facelift Thyroidectomy: A Multi-institutional Experience

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World journal of surgery


BACKGROUND: Robotic facelift thyroidectomy (RFT) was developed as a new surgical approach to the thyroid gland using a remote incision site. Early favorable results led to this confirmatory multi-institutional experience.

METHODS: Prospectively collected data on consecutive patients undergoing RFT in five North American academic endocrine surgical practices were compiled. Surgical indications, operative times, final pathology, nodule size, complications, and postoperative management (drain use and length of hospital stay) were evaluated.

RESULTS: A total of 102 RFT procedures were undertaken in 90 patients. All but one of the patients (98.9 %) were female, and the mean age was 41.9 ± 13.1 years (range 12-69 years). The indication for surgery was nodular disease in 91.2 % of cases; 8.8 % were completion procedures performed for a diagnosis of cancer. The mean size of the largest nodule was 1.9 cm (range 0-5.6 cm). The mean total operative time for a thyroid lobectomy was 162 min (range 82-265 min). No permanent complications occurred. There were 4 cases (3.9 %) of transient recurrent laryngeal nerve weakness, no cases of hypocalcemia, and 3 (2.9 %) hematomas. There were no conversions to an anterior cervical approach. The majority of patients were managed on an outpatient basis (61.8 %) and without a drain (65.7 %).

CONCLUSIONS: RFT is technically feasible and safe in selected patients. RFT can continue to be offered to carefully selected patients as a way to avoid a visible cervical scar. Future prospective studies to compare this novel approach to other remote access approaches are warranted.

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Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Child; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Prospective Studies; Robotic Surgical Procedures; Thyroid Diseases; Thyroidectomy; Treatment Outcome; Young Adult

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