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Surg Endosc. 2014 Nov;28(11):3134-42. doi: 10.1007/s00464-014-3567-x. Epub 2014 May 31.

Factors contributing to surgical outcomes of transaxillary robotic thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, International St. Mary's Hospital, Incheon Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea,



Transaxillary robotic thyroidectomy is considered a technically feasible and safe treatment option for patients with low-risk papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). The aim of the present study was to determine the factors that contribute to the perioperative surgical outcomes of robotic thyroidectomy and to suggest guidelines for patient selection to be used by surgeons inexperienced in the technique.


We reviewed the records of 275 patients with PTC who underwent robotic total thyroidectomy using a gasless, transaxillary single-incision approach at Yonsei University Health System, South Korea, between January 2011 and May 2012. The association between surgical outcomes and clinicopathologic factors was assessed using linear and logistic regression analysis.


The contributing factors for surgical outcomes of robotic thyroidectomy were categorized as patient factors, including gender and body mass index (BMI), and thyroid-specific factors, including thyroid gland size, coexistent thyroiditis, tumor size, and serum anti-thyroglobulin antibody and anti-microsomal antibody titers. Of these, male gender, a large thyroid gland, and thyroiditis significantly increased the total operation time. Male gender, thyroiditis, and overweight BMI increased the working space time, and a large thyroid gland and overweight BMI affected the console time. A large thyroid gland and histological thyroiditis were associated with increased intraoperative blood loss. There was no association between postoperative complications and clinicopathologic parameters.


Male gender, overweight BMI, a large thyroid gland, and coexistent thyroiditis adversely affected the surgical outcome of robotic thyroidectomy. Surgeons inexperienced in the technique should avoid or carefully approach individuals with these factors.

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