Navigation Links
Robots preclude neck incision for thyroid surgery

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Robots that revolutionized gynecologic and urologic surgery in the past decade now offer the option of removing at least a portion of their diseased thyroid gland without the hallmark neck incision, researchers said.

The thyroid, which sits just under the Adam's apple and controls the body's metabolic rate, is about the size of a kiwi. Benign and cancerous disease can more than double its size. Dr. David Terris, Porubsky professor and chairman of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, has helped shepherd in minimally-invasive approaches that reduced neck incisions from several inches to less than an inch within the last few years.

The daVinci Surgical System, in which surgeons sitting at a console maneuver through tight spaces and around corners, enables access to the thyroid through the armpit, Terris said.

"In my opinion, if you are committed to not having a neck scar, this is the best way to do it," Terris said of patients who are trim, have benign disease and need only half of their two-lobed thyroid gland removed.

He and his colleagues Dr. F. Christopher Holsinger, associate professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Dr. Ronald B. Kuppersmith, clinical faculty member at Texas A & M Health Science Center provide an overview of the robotic technique they are helping develop in the United States in the current print edition of Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America.

Although the armpit is farther from the gland than the neck is, simply raising the patient's arm during surgery shortens the path, leaving a fairly straightforward approach made navigable by the three- dimensional visualization and wrist-like maneuverability of the robot.

"The robot is what makes it possible to easily and safely do the work from that distance," Terris said. Surgeons gain access through a two-to-three-inch armpit incision, then work their way through skin and fat and finally in between two big neck muscles. "It's a long way down a big tunnel to get to that thyroid through the armpit that would not be possible without telescopes and long instruments," he said.

In the August 2004 edition of Laryngoscope Terris advocated the technique for select patients after comparing five minimally invasive approaches in pigs. While acknowledging that the armpit approach is a lot more work in humans, experience has enabled Terris to complete the procedure in less than two hours vs. under an hour via a three-quarter-inch neck incision.

Korean surgeons have the most experience to date with robotic thyroidectomy in humans and are using the approach to remove both lobes, Terris said, noting that cultural concerns about neck scars helped push Koreans to be pioneers in the field. He thinks improving technology will hasten the procedure's acceptance in the United States, where robotics in other medical procedures are already common.

In the journal article, the thyroid surgeons recommend that colleagues interested in the approach should complete robotics training, practice thyroid removal on cadavers, watch an experienced surgeon use the technique, then have a surgeon watch them.


Contact: Toni Baker
Medical College of Georgia

Related biology news :

1. Wiggle room: Cornell researcher borrows idea from sperm to provide energy for nanoscale robots
2. Actor-robots staff part of new $5M simulation training center
3. Tufts to develop morphing chemical robots
4. Cockroaches offer inspiration for running robots
5. Advances made in walking, running robots
6. New molecular regulators of hyperthyroidism and goiter
7. Presence of gene mutation helps guide thyroid cancer treatment
8. Researchers discover atomic bomb effect results in adult-onset thyroid cancer
9. Smoking during pregnancy may impair thyroid function of mom and fetus
10. First comprehensive guidelines for managing medullary thyroid carcinoma published in Thyroid journal
11. Stem cell success points to way to regenerate parathyroid glands
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Robots preclude neck incision for thyroid surgery
(Date:11/9/2015)... 09, 2015 ... the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market ... --> ) has announced the ... Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... ( ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> ... by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal testing ... 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. The ... Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by 2022. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial ... points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media ... of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LOS ANGELES , Nov. 24, 2015 ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... Marban , Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to ... December 1, 2015 at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The ... York City . . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it has completed construction ... dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing specific to raw ... and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has formally announced that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: