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Robots preclude neck incision for thyroid surgery
Date:7/6/2010

k 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.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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Robots preclude neck incision for thyroid surgery
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