, 10:239,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 09 Nov 2012

Robotic thyroidectomy versus endoscopic thyroidectomy: a meta-analysis



To conduct a meta-analysis to determine the relative merits of robotic thyroidectomy (RT) and endoscopic thyroidectomy (ET).


A literature search was performed to identify comparative studies reporting peri-operative outcomes for RT and ET. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and weighted mean differences (WMDs) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated using either a fixed-effects or a random-effects model.


Six studies matched the selection criteria, which reported on 2048 subjects, of whom 978 underwent RT and 1070 underwent ET. Comparing the outcomes of RT with ET, this meta-analysis indicated that RT was associated with more complications (WMD = 1.51, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.94) and greater amount of drainage fluid (WMD = 17.10, 95% CI 5.69 to 28.51). Meanwhile, operating time (WMD = 1.50, 95% CI −39.59 to 42.58), conversion (WMD = 0.63, 95% CI 0.07 to 6.17), post-operative hospital stay (WMD = −0.05; 95% CI −0.18 to 0.08), and the number of lymph nodes harvested (WMD = 0.62, 95% CI −0.29 to 1.53) were similar for both procedures.


The results of this meta-analysis indicated that RT is associated with an increased risk of complications and a greater amount of drainage fluid. Therefore, RT does not appear to have any advantage over ET. Further studies are required to confirm these results.