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Detailed comparison of robotic and endoscopic transaxillary thyroidectomy

Young Woo Chang, Hye Yoon Lee, Woong Bae Ji, Hoon Yub Kim, Woo Young Kim, Jae Bok Lee, Gil Soo Son
Asian Journal of Surgery 2019 March 19

BACKGROUND: Robotic thyroidectomy is increasingly used for patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). We compared the differences between robotic and endoscopic transaxillary thyroidectomy with regard to surgical procedures.

METHODS: This retrospective study enrolled 40 patients with PTC who underwent robotic hemithyroidectomy (robot group) using the Da Vinci S system and 37 patients (endoscopic group) who underwent endoscopic hemithyroidectomy. Video files of surgery for all patients were analyzed to compare the operation procedures: (flap creation, docking [only for robot group], dissection of the superior pole, dissection of the inferior pole, identification of parathyroid glands [PTGs] and the recurrent laryngeal nerve [RLN], dissection of the thyroid along the trachea, bleeding control, application of a drain, and wound closure). The duration of each procedure and the clinicopathological characteristics were analyzed.

RESULTS: Procedure time for patients in the robot group was shorter for inferior pole dissection and for identification of the PTGs and RLN (37.5 min vs. 50.5 min, p = 0.008). Mean total operative times for the two groups were comparable (153.0 min vs. 150.2 min, p = 0.732); however, excluding the docking procedure, operation time was shorter for the robot group (133.3 min vs. 150.2 min, p = 0.038). The number of sacrificed PTGs was also significantly smaller in the robot group (0.35 ± 0.53 vs. 0.65 ± 0.68, p = 0.036).

CONCLUSION: Compared to endoscopic thyroidectomy, robotic transaxillary thyroidectomy involved a shorter time for inferior pole dissection and PTGs and RLN identification; moreover, more PTGs were spared using this procedure.


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