A comparative North American experience of robotic thyroidectomy in a thyroid cancer population
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- Noureldine, S.I., Jackson, N.R., Tufano, R.P. et al. Langenbecks Arch Surg (2013) 398: 1069. doi:10.1007/s00423-013-1123-0
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This study seeks to explore the efficacy of robotic thyroidectomy in treating a North American population with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) as compared with the conventional cervical approach.
A retrospective analysis of our prospectively collected thyroid surgery database was performed. We included all consecutive patients that underwent thyroidectomy for the treatment of well-differentiated thyroid cancer, performed by a single surgeon.
Twenty-four robotic transaxillary and 35 conventional thyroidectomy procedures were performed. Average size of the tumor was 1.1 ± 0.2 cm in the robotic group and 1.7 ± 0.3 cm in the cervical group (p = 0.16). Average total operative time for the robotic group was 133 ± 65.4 and 119.7 ± 22.5 min in the cervical group (p = 0.34). No robotic cases required conversion. One patient required reoperation for recurrent disease at 24 months follow-up. Both groups had similar blood loss (p = 0.37) and all margins were negative for malignancy on permanent pathology. All patients were discharged home within 24 h. Postoperative stimulated thyroglobulin levels were similar for the two groups (p = 0.82).
Our experience with robotic transaxillary thyroidectomy confirms this technique is feasible. It is possible to achieve a safe and effective oncologic result in a select group of North American patients with DTC.