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A comparative study of the surgical outcomes of robotic and conventional open modified radical neck dissection for papillary thyroid carcinoma with lateral neck node metastasis

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Abstract

Background

Several endoscopic modified radical neck dissections (MRND) have been conducted since the introduction of the endoscopic technique to thyroid surgery with the aim of avoiding a long cervical scar. Furthermore, the recent introduction of surgical robotic systems has increased the precision of endoscopic techniques. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the early surgical outcomes of robotic and conventional open MRND for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) with lateral neck node metastasis (LNM).

Methods

From January 2009 to May 2010, 165 patients with PTC underwent bilateral total thyroidectomy with central compartment neck dissection and ipsilateral MRND. Of these patients, 56 formed the robotic procedure group (RG) and 109 the conventional open procedure group. These two groups were retrospectively compared with respect to their clinicopathological characteristics, early surgical outcomes, and surgical completeness.

Results

The operative time was longer, mean tumor size was smaller, mean age was lower, and disease stage was earlier in the RG. However, mean numbers of retrieved lymph nodes were similar in the two groups, and mean hospital stay after surgery was shorter in the RG. Furthermore, complication rates were similar in the two groups, and there was no statistical difference in postoperative Tg levels between the groups.

Conclusions

Robotic MRND was found to be similar to conventional open MRND in terms of early surgical outcomes and surgical completeness but leaves no scar on the neck area. Robotic MRND can be viewed as an acceptable alternative method in low-risk PTC with LNM.

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Disclosures

Drs. Sang-Wook Kang, So Hee Lee, Jae Hyun Park, Jun Soo Jeong, Seulkee Park, Cho Rok Lee, Jong Ju Jeong, Kee-Hyun Nam, Woong Youn Chung, and Cheong Soo Park have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Woong Youn Chung.

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Kang, SW., Lee, S.H., Park, J.H. et al. A comparative study of the surgical outcomes of robotic and conventional open modified radical neck dissection for papillary thyroid carcinoma with lateral neck node metastasis. Surg Endosc 26, 3251–3257 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-012-2333-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-012-2333-1

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