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Quality of Life in Patients Undergoing Endoscopic Thyroidectomy Versus Conventional Open Thyroidectomy: Interim Results From Randomized Trial.

OBJECTIVE: We determined whether endoscopic thyroidectomy (ET) is associated with better health-related quality of life (QoL) compared with open thyroidectomy.

METHODS: We randomly assigned 28 patients aged older than 18 years, Bethesda IV or less on cytology and gland volume of <40 mL to undergo hemithyroidectomy through either open or endoscopic (axillo-breast approach/bilateral axillo-breast approach) technique. The primary outcome was QoL scores on the Short Form-36 and Thyroid-Specific Questionnaire at 2, 6, and 12 weeks postsurgery. Secondary outcomes were postoperative complications, hospital stay, and pain scores.

RESULTS: The generic QoL scores based on Short Form-36 were statistically nonsignificant between the two groups. QoL scores based on Thyroid-Specific Questionnaire were statistically significant (P < 0.05) favoring open thyroidectomy in the following domains: (1) numbness at 2, 6, and 12 weeks (P = 0.04, 0.004, and 0.005, respectively), (2) shoulder impairment at 2 weeks (P = 0.017), and (3) favoring ET in cosmesis at 6 and 12 weeks (P = 0.037 and 0.02, respectively). ET has longer operative time (104.6 ± 25.4 vs 123 ± 8.9 min; P = 0.03), longer hospital stays (2.8 ± 0.4 vs 2.4 ± 0.5; P = 0.056) and higher pain scores at 2 and 6 weeks (P = 0.007 and 0.012, respectively) but decreased intraoperative bleeding (33.5 ± 6.4 vs 29.1 ± 3.7 mL; P = 0.037).

CONCLUSION: ET has higher cosmetic satisfaction, increased numbness, and shoulder movement impairment during short-term postsurgery follow-up. Both techniques are similar in impacting general physical, mental, and social health-related QoL. (Clinical Trials Registry of India, Reg. No. CTRI/2020/07/026374).

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