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A comparative North American experience of robotic thyroidectomy in a thyroid cancer population



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.

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The 8th International Conference on Head & Neck Cancer. July 21–25, 2012. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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The authors have no financial interests in companies or other entities that have an interest in the information included in the contribution. There are no financial disclosures.

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Correspondence to Emad Kandil.

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Authors’ contributions

Study conception and design: Kandil, Noureldine; acquisition of data: Noureldine, Jackson; analysis and interpretation of data: Kandil, Jackson, Noureldine; drafting of manuscript: Noureldine; and critical revision: Kandil, Tufano.

Synopsis: This study aims 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.

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Noureldine, S.I., Jackson, N.R., Tufano, R.P. et al. A comparative North American experience of robotic thyroidectomy in a thyroid cancer population. Langenbecks Arch Surg 398, 1069–1074 (2013).

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  • Comparative study
  • Robotic thyroidectomy
  • Transaxillary
  • Thyroid neoplasm
  • Papillary thyroid cancer
  • Well-differentiated thyroid cancer
  • DTC
  • Thyroid surgery