Safety of video-assisted thyroidectomy versus conventional surgery

Celestino Pio Lombardi, Marco Raffaelli, Pietro Princi, Paola Lulli, Esther Diana Rossi, Guido Fadda, Rocco Bellantone
Head & Neck 2005, 27 (1): 58-64

BACKGROUND: Thyroid gland manipulation, surgical stress response, and postoperative outcome in cases of video-assisted thyroidectomy (VAT) and conventional thyroidectomy were compared to verify the safety of VAT.

METHODS: Twenty consenting patients were randomly assigned to undergo VAT or conventional thyroidectomy. Serum thyroglobulin levels were monitored as indicators of thyroid manipulation, and C-reactive protein and white blood cell count were monitored to assess surgical stress response. Thyroid capsule integrity and the presence of spilled cells in the thyroid bed were verified.

RESULTS: No significant differences were found in the indicators of thyroid gland manipulation and surgical stress response between groups. No thyroid capsules ruptured, and no spilled thyroid cells were found. Patients who had VAT experienced less pain, required fewer analgesics, and were more satisfied with the cosmetic result and the surgical outcome.

CONCLUSIONS: VAT is as safe as conventional thyroidectomy and is characterized by a less painful postoperative course and by better cosmetic results and postoperative outcome.

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