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      First Experience of Single-Port Robotic Areolar Approach Thyroidectomy


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          Numerous minimally invasive thyroidectomy techniques have been developed and are actively utilized in hospitals around the globe. Herein, we describe a recently developed minimally invasive thyroidectomy technique that employs the da Vinci SP, and we present the preliminary clinical outcomes of single-port robotic areolar thyroidectomy (SPRA).


          A 3-cm semi-circular incision on the right areola and a small 8-mm incision on the left areola were created. Using hydro-dissection and an advanced bipolar device, a subcutaneous skin flap was created, extending from the areola to the thyroid cartilage. The da Vinci SP was then inserted through the incision in the right areola. Between December 2022 and March 2023, 21 SPRA procedures were conducted. Patients’ medical records and surgical videos were subsequently reviewed.


          Lobectomy was performed in 17 patients, isthmectomy in 2 patients, and total thyroidectomy in 2 patients. The mean flap time was 14.9±4.2 minutes and the console time was 62.4±17.1 minutes. The mean tumor size was 0.89± 0.65 cm and the number of retrieved lymph nodes was 3.94±3.98 (range, 0–12). There were no observed instances of vocal cord palsy or hypoparathyroidism.


          We successfully developed and performed the novel SPRA for the first time worldwide. Unlike other robotic surgery methods, SPRA is less invasive and leaves no visible scars. This technique employs a sophisticated single-port robotic device. However, to assess the efficacy of this method, we need to analyze more cases and conduct comparative studies in the near future.

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          Most cited references28

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          Current thyroid cancer trends in the United States.

          We have previously reported on a doubling of thyroid cancer incidence-largely due to the detection of small papillary cancers. Because they are commonly found in people who have died of other causes, and because thyroid cancer mortality had been stable, we argued that the increased incidence represented overdiagnosis. To determine whether thyroid cancer incidence has stabilized. Analysis of secular trends in patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer, 1975 to 2009, using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program and thyroid cancer mortality from the National Vital Statistics System. Nine SEER areas (SEER 9): Atlanta, Georgia; Connecticut; Detroit, Michigan; Hawaii; Iowa; New Mexico; San Francisco-Oakland, California; Seattle-Puget Sound, Washington; and Utah. Men and women older than 18 years diagnosed as having a thyroid cancer between 1975 and 2009 who lived in the SEER 9 areas. None. Thyroid cancer incidence, histologic type, tumor size, and patient mortality. RESULTS Since 1975, the incidence of thyroid cancer has now nearly tripled, from 4.9 to 14.3 per 100,000 individuals (absolute increase, 9.4 per 100,000; relative rate [RR], 2.9; 95% CI, 2.7-3.1). Virtually the entire increase was attributable to papillary thyroid cancer: from 3.4 to 12.5 per 100,000 (absolute increase, 9.1 per 100,000; RR, 3.7; 95% CI, 3.4-4.0). The absolute increase in thyroid cancer in women (from 6.5 to 21.4 = 14.9 per 100,000 women) was almost 4 times greater than that of men (from 3.1 to 6.9 = 3.8 per 100,000 men). The mortality rate from thyroid cancer was stable between 1975 and 2009 (approximately 0.5 deaths per 100,000). There is an ongoing epidemic of thyroid cancer in the United States. The epidemiology of the increased incidence, however, suggests that it is not an epidemic of disease but rather an epidemic of diagnosis. The problem is particularly acute for women, who have lower autopsy prevalence of thyroid cancer than men but higher cancer detection rates by a 3:1 ratio.
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            Worldwide Thyroid-Cancer Epidemic? The Increasing Impact of Overdiagnosis

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              Robot-assisted endoscopic surgery for thyroid cancer: experience with the first 100 patients.

              Various robotic surgical procedures have been performed in recent years, and most reports have proved that the application of robotic technology for surgery is technically feasible and safe. This study aimed to introduce the authors' technique of robot-assisted endoscopic thyroid surgery and to demonstrate its applicability in the surgical management of thyroid cancer. From 4 October 2007 through 14 March 2008, 100 patients with papillary thyroid cancer underwent robot-assisted endoscopic thyroid surgery using a gasless transaxillary approach. This novel robotic surgical approach allowed adequate endoscopic access for thyroid surgeries. All the procedures were completed successfully using the da Vinci S surgical robot system. Four robotic arms were used with this system: a 12-mm telescope and three 8-mm instruments. The three-dimensional magnified visualization obtained by the dual-channel endoscope and the tremor-free instruments controlled by the robotic systems allowed surgeons to perform sharp and precise endoscopic dissections. Ipsilateral central compartment node dissection was used for 84 less-than-total and 16 total thyroidectomies. The mean operation time was 136.5 min (range, 79-267 min). The actual time for thyroidectomy with lymphadenectomy (console time) was 60 min (range, 25-157 min). The average number of lymph nodes resected was 5.3 (range, 1-28). No serious complications occurred. Most of the patients could return home within 3 days after surgery. The technique of robot-assisted endoscopic thyroid surgery using a gasless transaxillary approach is a feasible, safe, and effective method for selected patients with thyroid cancer. The authors suggest that application of robotic technology for endoscopic thyroid surgeries could overcome the limitations of conventional endoscopic surgeries in the surgical management of thyroid cancer.

                Author and article information

                Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol
                Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol
                Clinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology
                Korean Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
                August 2023
                5 July 2023
                : 16
                : 3
                : 275-281
                [1 ]Department of Surgery, Inha University Hospital, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
                [2 ]Robot Surgery Center, Inha University Hospital, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Jin Wook Yi Department of Surgery, Inha University Hospital, Inha University College of Medicine, 27 Inhang-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon 22332, Korea Tel: +82-32-890-3437, Fax: +82-32-890-3549 Email: jinwook.yi@ 123456inha.ac.kr
                Author information
                Copyright © 2023 by Korean Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 11 May 2023
                : 14 June 2023
                : 4 July 2023
                Original Article

                thyroid,robotic surgical procedures,minimally invasive surgical procedures
                thyroid, robotic surgical procedures, minimally invasive surgical procedures


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