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Surg Today. 2001;31(8):665-9.

Minimally invasive open thyroidectomy.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.


We recently developed a new surgical technique for carrying out thyroidectomy, to minimize tissue trauma by obviating unnecessary neck exploration. This report describes our technique of performing minimally invasive open thyroidectomy and compares the results with those of conventional thyroidectomy. Minimally invasive open thyroidectomy was performed by making a small skin incision, 3.0-4.5cm long, and approaching the thyroid directly via a transverse division of the strap muscles without raising skin flaps. The outcomes of 466 patients who underwent a minimally invasive open thyroidectomy were retrospectively compared with those of 437 patients who underwent conventional thyroidectomy for various types of thyroid nodules. There was no significant difference in the extent of surgery between the group of patients who underwent minimally invasive thyroidectomy and the group of patients who underwent conventional thyroidectomy. However, the length of the skin incision, at 3.7 +/- 0.7 vs 9.6 +/- 3.3 cm, respectively, operative time, at 57.6 +/- 11.7 vs 85.2 +/- 32.3 min, respectively, blood loss, at 18.4 +/- 15.3 vs 43.1 +/- 21.8 ml, respectively, and hospital stay, at 1.6 +/- 0.5 vs 4.3 +/- 1.6 days, respectively, were significantly reduced in the minimally invasive open thyroidectomy group (P < 0.05). Moreover, the number of patients who required postoperative analgesia was significantly less in the minimally invasive open thyroidectomy group. These results show that minimally invasive open thyroidectomy provides surgeons with a clear operative field, and that it has proven to be simple, safe, and practical for selected patients.

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