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Surg Innov. 2010 Sep;17(3):242-7. doi: 10.1177/1553350610376394. Epub 2010 Jul 28.

Total thyroidectomy performed with the Starion vessel sealing system versus the conventional technique: a prospective randomized trial.

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  • 1Department of General, Emergency and Transplant Surgery (GENURTO)-Unit of General and Emergency Surgery, University of Palermo, Italy.


Meticulous dissection and accurate hemostasis are required in thyroid surgery. The authors recently performed a number of thyroidectomies using a new device that combines heat and pressure for sealing and cutting tissue. A prospective randomized trial was conducted on 98 patients subjected to total thyroidectomy for benign disease: 49 patients (group A) with the Starion tissue welding system and 49 (group B) with the clamp-and-tie technique. The 2 groups were comparable in mean age, gender, thyroidal volume (20-60 mL), incision length (<35 mm), and pathology. The authors evaluated operative time, postoperative serum calcemia, dosage and length of postoperative calcium and vitamin D treatment, drainage volume, hospital stay, and complications. Student's t test was used for quantitative variables; for categorical variables, the chi(2) test or Fisher's exact test, as appropriate, was used. The mean operative time was 53.8 +/- 6.1 minutes in group A and 63.2 +/- 8 minutes in group B (P < .0001). The difference in terms of postoperative calcemia was significant (group A: 8.35 +/- 0.39 mg/dL; group B: 8.08 +/- 0.39 mg/dL; P < .001). The duration of postoperative treatment with calcium and vitamin D was significantly different (group A: 4 days; group B: 5 days; P < .039). No significant difference in terms of postoperative complications was found. The new system reduced operative time and the duration of postoperative hypocalcemia, and there was minimal tissue necrosis and thermal spread. The reduction in duration of postoperative calcium and vitamin D treatment is also an indication of improvement in quality of the treatment.

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