Effects of a cost-effective surgical workflow on cosmesis and patient's satisfaction in open thyroid surgery

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Purpose: In thyroid surgery, minimally invasive procedures are thought to improve cosmesis and patient's satisfaction. However, studies using standardized tools are scarce, and results are controversial. Moreover, minimally invasive techniques raise the question of material costs in a context of health spending cuts. The aim of the present study is to test a cost-effective surgical workflow to improve cosmesis in conventional open thyroid surgery. Methods: Our study ran between January 2009 and November 2010, and was based on a prospectively maintained thyroid surgery register. Patients operated for benign thyroid diseases were included. Since January 2010, a standardized surgical workflow was used in addition to the reference open procedure to improve the outcome. Two groups were created: (1) G1 group (patients operated with the reference technique), (2) G2 group (patients operated with our workflow in addition to reference technique). Patients were investigated for postoperative outcomes, self-evaluated body image, cosmetic and self-confidence scores. Results: 820 patients were included in the present study. The overall body image and cosmetic scores were significantly better in the G2 group (P < 0.05). No significant difference was noted in terms of surgical outcomes, scar length, and self-confidence. Conclusions: Our surgical workflow in conjunction with the reference technique is safe and shows significant better results in terms of body image and cosmesis than do the reference technique alone. Thus, we recommend its implementation in order to improve outcomes in a cost-effective way. The limitations of the present study should be kept in mind in the elaboration of future studies. © 2012 Surgical Associates Ltd.




Billmann, F., Bokor-Billmann, T., Voigt, J., & Kiffner, E. (2013). Effects of a cost-effective surgical workflow on cosmesis and patient’s satisfaction in open thyroid surgery. International Journal of Surgery, 11(1), 31–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2012.11.004

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