Early surgical outcomes comparison between robotic and conventional open thyroid surgery for papillary thyroid microcarcinoma
Sohee Lee ; Haeng Rang Ryu ; Cheong Soo Park ; Woong Youn Chung ; Kee-Hyun Nam ; Jong Ju Jeong ; Sang-Wook Kang ; Kyu Hyung Kim ; Jae Hyun Park
Surgery, Vol.151(5) : 724~730, 2012
BACKGROUND: Robotic operations have enabled a safer and more meticulous approach to thyroidectomy with the notable benefit of improved cosmesis and decreases in postoperative pain and swallowing discomfort. The aim of this study was to document the early surgical outcomes of robotic thyroidectomy in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) by comparing it with conventional open thyroidectomy.
METHODS: From October 2007 to September 2008, 458 patients with PTC underwent thyroidectomy at the Yonsei University Health System. Of these patients, 266 patients were in the conventional open group and 192 patients were in the robotic group. These 2 groups were compared retrospectively with respect to clinicopathologic characteristics and surgical outcomes.
RESULTS: The mean follow-up period was 29.1 months. Mean tumor size, incidence of capsular invasion, multiplicity, and central nodal metastasis showed no significant difference between the 2 groups. Total thyroidectomy was performed more frequently in the open group. In terms of operation times, the robotic group had a significantly greater length of time for total thyroidectomy and subtotal thyroidectomy. The total number of retrieved central lymph nodes was greater in the open group (5.7 vs 4.6, P = .004). The 2 groups showed no differences in intraoperative and postoperative complications. The postoperative serum thyroglobulin levels were similar in both groups (0.25 vs 0.22 ng/mL, P = .648) and 2-year follow-up sonography of 433 patients revealed no recurrences. No abnormal I(131) uptake was observed in whole-body scans in either group.
CONCLUSION: Robotic thyroidectomy was similar to conventional open thyroidectomy in terms of early surgical outcomes but offers advantages. We conclude that robotic thyroidectomy offers a safe, feasible alternative to conventional open thyroidectomy in patients with PTC.