JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy for the early-stage differential thyroid carcinoma.

BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT), the modified Miccoli's thyroid surgery, is the most widespread minimally invasive technique and has been widely used for treatment of thyroid disease. This study aimed to verify the potential benefits of the modified Miccoli's thyroid surgery, determine the feasibility of the MIVAT for early-stage differential thyroid carcinoma and evaluate the likelihood of the surgical method as a standard operation for early malignant thyroid carcinoma.

METHODS: A total of 135 patients were retrospectively compared which included two groups of patients: the first group underwent the conventional thyroidectomy; the other group underwent MIVAT. Patients with thyroid nodule smaller than 20 mm and without previous neck surgery were included while those with wide-ranging and distant metastases of cervical tissues, or any suspected thyroid nodal metastases were excluded for analysis. MIVAT and the central compartment (level VI) lymph nodes dissection (LND) were considered as a new treatment method for this retrospective study. In addition to the comparison of surgical outcomes between the new treatment and the conventional thyroid surgery, other surgical parameters including operative time, operative volume of hemorrhage, incisional length, postoperative volume of drainage, length of hospitalization, accidence of hoarse voice, accidence of bucking, accidence of hypocalcemia and peak angle of cervical axial rotation were also compared.

RESULTS: Out of 135 patients, 111 patients underwent conventional thyroid surgery and 24 patients underwent MIVAT plus level VI LND for treatment of early-stage differential malignant carcinoma. Patients who received the new surgical treatment had significantly shorter incisional length (3.1 cm vs. 6.9 cm, p < 0.0001), shorter operative time (109 min vs. 139 min, p = 0.014) and fewer operative hemorrhage (29.5 ml vs. 69.7 ml, p < 0.0001) when compared to the conventional treatment. Postoperative peak angle of cervical axial rotation of patients treated with MIVAT was less than those treated with conventional surgery (L: 31.5° vs. 39.0°, p < 0.0001; R: 31.5° vs. 38.0°, p < 0.0001). Incisional wound infection, postoperative hoarse voice, bucking and hypocalcemia were not observed in all patients. Postoperative analgetica was not required as well.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with conventional thyroid surgery for early-stage differential thyroid carcinoma, the new surgical treatment could be considered as an alternative surgical method for treatment of early-stage thyroid carcinoma since it was feasible, safe and clinically effective with better surgical and cosmetic outcomes.

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