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Minimally invasive thyroid surgery effective in children
Date:4/13/2011

Surgical approaches that reduce incision size and recovery time from thyroid surgery work well in children, physician-scientists report.

"It brings parents comfort to know it's going to be a small incision, an outpatient surgery with no drains or staples on the skin. We just use some glue for the skin and the recovery is very rapid," said Dr. David Terris, Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Georgia Health Sciences University.

The results should bring comfort as well with complication rates of minimally invasive thyroid surgery on par with the standard surgical approach that can leave a several-inch scar at the base of the neck. Terris and Dr. Melanie W. Seybt, endocrine-head and neck surgeon at GHSU, co-authored the study published in Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology.

The GHSU study looked at 23 patients under age 21 at MCGHealth Children's Medical Center who have had thyroid procedures over a five-year period beginning in 2003, when GHSU surgeons first started using minimally-invasive techniques in young patients. They also compared data such as complication rates and hospital stays to those of children who had surgery at the Augusta facility from 1998-2003.

They found about 70 percent of the 2003-08 group had outpatient surgery while the majority of the earlier group required hospital admission. The less-invasive approach also meant, on average, a less than 1-inch scar as well as less scar tissue, a big plus if additional surgery is ever needed.

"Complication rates were similar so we are not compromising the effectiveness of the surgery in children," Terris said. The minimally invasive group had no instances of permanent damage to the nerve to the voice box or disruption of calcium level regulation, two primary complications of thyroid surgery.

"It works well in pediatric patients, geriatric patients and anyone in between," Terris said of the le
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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