BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT) has been practiced in our department since 1998. It has some advantages over conventional surgery in terms of postoperative pain and cosmetic result. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of the Harmonic scalpel (HS) on the performance of this procedure. METHODS: Between October 1998 and January 2001, 116 patients underwent MIVAT. The HS was used for the last 26 operations. We compared this group of patients (HS-G) with a control group (C-G) of 26 patients who had undergone MIVAT before the introduction of the HS. The following parameters were considered: age, gender, preoperative diagnosis, size of the lesion, type of operation (lobectomy or total thyroidectomy), operative time, complication rate, and postoperative hospital stay. RESULTS: The two groups were well matched for age, gender, preoperative diagnosis, lesion size, and type of operation. The mean operative time was significantly reduced in the HS-G for both lobectomy (37.3 +/- 8.4 vs 49.4 +/- 18.0 min) and total thyroidectomy (53.8 +/- 16.3 vs 90.6 +/- 22.1 min). No differences were found for postoperative stay. One patient in the C-G experienced a transient recurrent nerve palsy. There were no other complications. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the utilization of the HS for MIVAT is safe and associated with a shorter operative time. A reduction of the rates for such complications such as hypoparathyroidism and recurrent nerve injuries was not possible to demonstrate in the present study. Much larger series are needed for further evaluation of this instrument.
- Intraoperative Complications
- Length of Stay
- Middle Aged
- Surgical Procedures, Minimally Invasive
- Video-Assisted Surgery