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Endoscopic Thyroidectomy – How it is performed?

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December 4, 2019

Endoscopic Thyroidectomy – How it is performed?

Endoscopic thyroidectomy as the name suggests is carrying out thyroidectomy (thyroid removal) endoscopically or through small skin incisions.

What is thyroidectomy?

Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove all or part of the thyroid gland.  It is performed to treat thyroid disorders and is recommended for conditions such as thyroid cancer, large goiter (enlargement of the thyroid), hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. 

Thyroidectomy can be either:

  • Partial thyroidectomy or hemithyroidectomy where a portion of the thyroid is removed;
  • Total thyroidectomy where the entire thyroid is removed.

Abnormalities of the Thyroid are common in women. For nodules larger than 4 cm even if the USG and FNAC suggest benign swelling, thyroidectomy is recommended. Depending on the patient history, physical examination as well as the USG and FNAC findings, the surgeon may decide to offer a hemithyroidectomy or total thyroidectomy in consultation with the patient.

Endoscopic thyroidectomy

Endoscopic thyroidectomy is a surgical technique allowing the surgeon to perform thyroid surgery through small skin incisions.  It is also called Minimally Invasive Video-Assisted Thyroidectomy.  Minimal access approaches are attempted in neck surgery as they avoid scar to the neck.  Here we perform endoscopic thyroidectomy through very small incisions made at the axilla.  A video camera is inserted that provides a magnified view of the internal structures.  This aids in comfortable dissection of the thyroid as the surgeon can view the internal structures magnified on a computer monitor.  This adds the benefit of safety and precision.

Traditional methods of open thyroidectomy involve a transverse incision on the neck measuring 7-10 cm in length.  This leaves behind a scar line on the neck.  Women usually find this scar cosmetically unacceptable and unappealing.

Open Thyroidectomy - Transverse incision on Neck

Open Thyroidectomy – Transverse incision on Neck

The greatest benefit of endoscopic thyroidectomy is that the neck remains free of scar as the thyroidectomy is performed endoscopically via incisions made at the axilla. The smallest of scars produced are hidden beneath the inner clothes at the axilla. This is a great cosmetic advantage.

Endoscopic Thyroidectomy - Small Incisions made at the axilla

Endoscopic Thyroidectomy – Small Incisions made at the axilla
Endoscopic Thyroidectomy - Advantages


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