Endocrine Tumors

Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 2538-2547

Multicenter Study of Robotic Thyroidectomy: Short-Term Postoperative Outcomes and Surgeon Ergonomic Considerations

  • Jandee LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Ajou University School of Medicine
  • , Sang Wook KangAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Jeong Ju JungAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Un Jung ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Won-Kwang University School of Medicine
  • , Jong Ho YunAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Ulsan University School of Medicine
  • , Kee Hyun NamAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Euy-Young SohAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Ajou University School of Medicine
  • , Woong Youn ChungAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Background

Robotic thyroidectomy (RT) has recently emerged as a viable approach to thyroid surgery, resulting in better functional and cosmetic outcomes than afforded by open thyroidectomy (OT). The present multicenter study assessed the perioperative outcomes of RT and compared physician perspectives on the musculoskeletal ergonomic parameters associated with OT, endoscopic thyroidectomy (ET), and RT.

Materials and Methods

We reviewed the medical records of 2014 consecutive patients who underwent RT, conducted by 7 surgeons, at 4 centers between October 2007 and June 2010. Patient characteristics, perioperative clinical results, complications, and pathologic outcomes were analyzed. Moreover, surgeons were surveyed to gather data on musculoskeletal discomfort experienced during OT, ET, and RT.

Results

Of the 2014 patients, 740 underwent total and 1274 subtotal thyroidectomy. Mean tumor diameter was 0.8 cm, and the mean number of retrieved central lymph nodes was 4.5 ± 3.9 (range 0–28). The rates of permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve injury and permanent hypocalcemia were 0.4 and 0.05%, respectively. Neck and/or back pain after OT, ET, and RT was experienced by 100, 85.7, and 28.6% of surgeons, respectively. When surgeons ranked the operative approaches in decreasing order of associated pain, 57.1% indicated ET > OT > RT, 28.6% selected OT > ET > RT, and 14.3% responded ET > RT > OT.

Conclusion

RT is a feasible and safe procedure that may facilitate radical cervical lymph node dissection. Moreover, for surgeons, the RT resulted in less musculoskeletal discomfort than did OT or ET. A larger prospective study, with a longer follow-up, is needed to determine whether RT offers real benefits for both patients and surgeons.