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      Unilateral Axilla-Bilateral Areola Approach for Thyroidectomy by da Vinci Robot: 500 Cases Treated by the Same Surgeon


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          Objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of da Vinci robot-assisted thyroidectomy via an unilateral axilla-bilateral areola (UABA) approach.

          Methods: The clinical data of 500 patients undergoing robotic thyroidectomy via an UABA approach from July 2014 to April 2018 were retrospectively analyzed. All 500 patients were operated on by the same surgeon and divided into two groups by the time sequence. The efficacy and complications were compared between the two groups.

          Results: Robotic thyroidectomy via an UABA approach was performed successfully in 500 cases, including 196 cases of benign thyroid diseases with a lesion diameter of 3.1 ± 1.3 cm (0.4 - 8.2 cm) and 304 cases of thyroid cancer with a tumor diameter of 1.2 ± 0.7 cm (0.4 - 4.4 cm). Surgical procedures included unilateral lobectomy and total thyroidectomy with or without central lymph node dissection. Among the 500 patients, 9 (1.8%) had transient recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, 1 (0.2%) had permanent unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, 12 (2.4%) had subcutaneous hemorrhage of the trajectory area, and 6 (1.2%) had subcutaneous infection of the trajectory area after surgery. Among 239 thyroid cancer patients undergoing total thyroidectomy, 45 (18.8%) had transient hypoparathyroidism and 5 (2.1%) had permanent hypoparathyroidism. The incidence of permanent hypoparathyroidism was 1.9% (4/212) among the patients undergoing total thyroidectomy plus unilateral central lymph node dissection, and 3.7% (1/27) among the patients undergoing total thyroidectomy plus bilateral central lymph node dissection. During the follow-up of median 17 months, all patients were satisfied with postoperative appearance of the neck and no structural recurrence or metastases occurred. There was no significant difference in efficacy between the two groups ( P > 0.05), while the complication rate in phase 2 was significantly lower than that in phase 1 ( P < 0.05) as the surgeon became more proficient in the UABA approach.

          Conclusion: Robotic thyroidectomy via an UABA approach is simple, safe, and minimally invasive, suitable for radical resection of large benign tumors and early thyroid cancer and central lymph node dissection.

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          Most cited references 32

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              Scarless endoscopic thyroidectomy: breast approach for better cosmesis.

              An original technique for performing endoscopic thyroidectomy using a breast approach to avoid an operative scar in the neck was developed. The subcutaneous space in the breast area and the subplatysmal space in the neck were bluntly dissected through a 15-mm incision between the nipples, and CO2 was insufflated at 6 mm Hg to create the operative space. Three trocars were inserted at the breast, and dissection of the thyroid and division of the thyroid vessels and parenchyma were performed endoscopically using an ultrasonically activated scalpel. Four hemithyroidectomies and one partial resection of the thyroid for five female patients with thyroid adenomas 5 to 7 cm in diameter were successfully performed using this procedure. There were no conversions to open surgery or complications. No scars were apparent in the neck, and all patients were fully satisfied with the cosmetic results. Endoscopic thyroidectomy using a breast approach and low-pressure subcutaneous CO2 insufflation is a feasible and safe procedure, which results in satisfactory cosmetic results.

                Author and article information

                J Cancer
                J Cancer
                Journal of Cancer
                Ivyspring International Publisher (Sydney )
                9 June 2019
                : 10
                : 16
                : 3851-3859
                [1 ]Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China
                [2 ]Department of Breast Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, Hunan Traditional Chinese Medical College, Hunan Provence, China
                Author notes
                ✉ Corresponding authors: Linjun Fan, flj212@ 123456126.com ; Xiaowei Qi, qxw9908@ 123456foxmail.com

                #Contributed equally

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

                © Ivyspring International Publisher

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.

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