Video-assisted thyroidectomy

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OBJECTIVE: In 1998, we developed a technique for video-assisted thyroidectomy (VAT). In this paper, we report on the entire series of patients who underwent VAT and discuss the results obtained. METHODS: Seventy-three patients were selected for VAT. Eligibility criteria were: thyroid nodules ≤ 35 mm in maximum diameter; estimated thyroid volume within normal range or slightly enlarged; small, low-risk papillary carcinomas; no previous neck surgery or irradiation and no thyroiditis. The VAT procedure was totally gasless. It was performed under endoscopic vision through a single 1.5 to 2.0-cm skin incision, using a technique very similar to conventional surgery. RESULTS: Eighty-one VATs were attempted on 73 patients. Forty-five lobectomies, 24 total thyroidectomies and eight completion thyroidectomies were successfully performed. Mean operative time was 82 minutes for lobectomy, 100 minutes for total thyroidectomy and 77 minutes for completion thyroidectomy. The conversion rate was 4.9%. Postoperative complications included two transient recurrent nerve palsies, five transient symptomatic postoperative hypocalcaemias and one wound infection. The cosmetic result was considered excellent by most of the patients. CONCLUSION: VAT is a feasible and and safe procedure that allows for excellent cosmetic results. In selected cases, it can be a valid option for the surgical treatment of thyroid diseases.




Bellantone, R., Lombardi, C. P., Raffaelli, M., Boscherini, M., De Crea, C., Francesco Alesina, P., … Princi, P. (2002). Video-assisted thyroidectomy. Asian Journal of Surgery, 25(4), 315–318.

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