BACKGROUND AND AIMS: We report on our series of patients selected for video-assisted thyroidectomy (VAT) over a 7-year period. MATERIALS AND METHODS: VAT is a gasless procedure performed under endoscopic vision through a single 1.5-2.0 cm skin incision. The eligibility criteria are thyroid nodules < or =35 mm, thyroid volume <30 ml, and no previous conventional neck surgery. Small, low-risk papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) were considered eligible. RESULTS: There were 521 VATs attempted. Conversion was necessary six times (difficult dissection in one case, large nodule size in three, and gross lymph node metastases in two). Thyroid lobectomy was successfully accomplished in 113 cases, total thyroidectomy in 398, and completion thyroidectomy in 14. In 66 patients, the central neck nodes were removed through the same access. Pathology showed benign diseases in 313 cases, PTC in 187, and medullary microcarcinoma in 1. Postoperative complications included 9 transient recurrent nerve palsies, 73 transient hypocalcemias, 3 definitive hypoparathyroidisms, 1 postoperative haematoma, and 2 wound infections. The cosmetic result was excellent. In patients with PTC, no evidence of recurrent disease was shown. CONCLUSIONS: The indications for VAT are still limited. Nonetheless, in selected patients, it seems a valid option for thyroidectomy and even preferable to conventional surgery because of its significant advantages, especially in terms of cosmetic result.
- minimally invasive thyroidectomy
- thyroid surgery
- video-assisted thyroidectomy