Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 3014–3021 | Cite as

A Prospective 1-Year Comparative Study of Endoscopic Thyroidectomy Via a Retroauricular Approach Versus Conventional Open Thyroidectomy at a Single Institution

  • Eun-Jae Chung
  • Min-Woo Park
  • Jae-Gu Cho
  • Seung-Kuk Baek
  • Soon-Young Kwon
  • Jeong-Soo Woo
  • Kwang-Yoon JungEmail author
Endocrine Tumors



The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of performing an endoscopic thyroidectomy (ETE) via a retroauricular approach.


Forty-seven patients who underwent ETE via a retroauricular approach were included, and a total of 47 patients who underwent conventional open thyroid lobectomy in the same period were analyzed as a control group. All patients underwent prospective functional evaluations before the operation and 1 week, and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively using a comprehensive battery of functional assessments.


The mean total operative time was 152 ± 48 min, with a mean endoscopic procedure time of 58 ± 18 min. One patient developed temporary vocal fold paralysis. Although most of the parameters for the functional outcome were worse in the ETE group, these differences were transient. Subjective worsening on the voice handicap index and dysphagia handicap index normalized by 3 months postoperatively. The average pain score on a visual analog scale at 1 week after surgery was 2.84, representing a tolerable range of discomfort. The mean paresthesia/hyperesthesia score was worse in the ETE group than the open surgery group by postoperative month 6; however, these differences eventually disappeared. Thirty-six of the 47 patients in the ETE group were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the retroauricular incision by 6 months after surgery.


ETE via a retroauricular approach is a safe, feasible, and cosmetically desirable treatment option, with outcomes comparable to conventional open thyroidectomy in the longer term.


Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injury Endoscopic Thyroidectomy Robotic Thyroidectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of interest

None to declare.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (WMV 110060 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun-Jae Chung
    • 1
  • Min-Woo Park
    • 2
  • Jae-Gu Cho
    • 2
  • Seung-Kuk Baek
    • 2
  • Soon-Young Kwon
    • 2
  • Jeong-Soo Woo
    • 2
  • Kwang-Yoon Jung
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgerySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryKorea University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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