Robotic-assisted modified radical neck dissection using a bilateral axillo-breast approach (robotic BABA MRND) for papillary thyroid carcinoma with lateral lymph node metastasis



Although safe in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), robotic thyroidectomy using a bilateral axillo-breast approach (BABA) has not been frequently performed in patients with advanced PTC. This study describes surgical outcomes in patients with PTC and lymph node metastasis (LNM) in lateral neck compartment who underwent robotic-assisted modified radical neck dissection with BABA (robotic BABA MRND).


The medical records of patients with PTC and lateral LNM who underwent robotic BABA MRND from March 2010 to July 2016 were retrospectively reviewed.


Fifteen patients, 14 women and 1 man, of mean age 37.1 ± 9.3 years, were enrolled. Mean operation time was 272.7 ± 33.8 min. A mean 20.7 ± 7.2 lymph nodes were retrieved from the lateral neck compartment, with a mean 5.3 ± 4.4 lymph nodes being metastatic. The rates of transient and permanent hypocalcemia were 46.7 and 0%, respectively, and the rates of transient and permanent vocal cord palsy were 6.7 and 0%, respectively. Fourteen patients (93.3%) had stimulated thyroglobulin concentrations below 2 ng/mL after the first treatment with radioactive iodine.


Robotic BABA MRND could be safely performed and may be a good surgical option in selected patients with PTC and lateral LNM.

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This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning, Republic of Korea (Grant Number: 2015R1C1A1A01055464).

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Correspondence to Kyu Eun Lee.

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Hyeong Won Yu, Young Jun Chai, Su-jin Kim, June Young Choi, and Kyu Eun Lee have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Yu, H.W., Chai, Y.J., Kim, S. et al. Robotic-assisted modified radical neck dissection using a bilateral axillo-breast approach (robotic BABA MRND) for papillary thyroid carcinoma with lateral lymph node metastasis. Surg Endosc 32, 2322–2327 (2018) doi:10.1007/s00464-017-5927-9

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  • Bilateral axillo-breast approach
  • Modified radical neck dissection
  • Papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • Thyroid carcinoma
  • Lymph node metastasis