To review the initial experience of gasless transaxillary robot-assisted endoscopic thyroid surgery in a series of patients and describe modifications of the technique for the North American patients, selection criteria, and other issues related to this technology.
Retrospective review of the first 31 consecutive cases at a single institution.
Thirty-one patients underwent robotic thyroid surgery. Twenty thyroid lobectomies and 11 total thyroidectomies were performed. Improvements in the length of time to perform components of the procedure were noted from the early group of cases to later group of cases. No major or permanent complications occurred.
Robotic thyroid surgery is feasible in North American patients and can be safely performed. The procedure has potential complications and a definite learning curve exists for both surgeons and operating room staff. Training methods need to be validated to ensure safe adoption. More studies need to be performed to further evaluate the relative benefits of this technique. Laryngoscope, 2011