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Robotic thyroid surgery for nodule / lump in the thyroid gland

Robotic thyroid surgery for nodule/lump in the thyroid gland

A new option for thyroid surgery that doesn’t leave a neck scar



The worry of the person having lump in the thyroid is this a cancer or not a cancer. Which can known to some extent by performing needle test( FNAC) done by expert pathology doctor .

The treatment of cancer or when diagnosis is not clear by FNAC test is surgery. The surgery entails removal of effected lobe of thyroid gland with or without removal of lymph nodes. Traditionally

A cut is made of 4-6cm length in front of neck ,3-4cm below “Adams apple” then the surgeon would expose the  thyroid gland so that he or she could directly see the gland ,preserve recurrent laryngeal nerve which controls the voice and parathyroid glands -calcium controlling glands . This would leave a scar in the front of neck which would heal perfectly in some and some scar is ugly because of scarring tendency is different in every person.


There’s a new treatment option for patients who need to have thyroid surgery: robotic thyroidectomy.

No, that doesn’t mean that a robot is doing your surgery.

Robotic thyroidectomy does mean that you won’t have a scar on your neck, and for many people, that’s reason enough to try this recently-developed surgical technique.


Robotic thyroidectomy—a minimally invasive surgical technique to remove all or part of the thyroid—was developed by doctors in South Korea, Seoul.

Robotic thyroidectomy is, in fact, a major step in thyroid surgery. As Dr. Mudit says, “This made sense that robotic thyroidectomy would be the next step in thyroid surgery, especially for those who don’t want a neck scar.”



How It Works ?

Robotic thyroidectomy eliminates the visible neck scar by accessing the thyroid gland through an incision behind the earlobe . This is called an retroauricular approach. That incision is 5-7cm long, but it’s hidden in the hairline. This technique has been adopted from plastic surgeon performing facelift procedure for cosmetic enhancement.


Robotic thyroidectomy is done using the daVinci Surgical System, a system that’s been used in many other robot-assisted surgeries with much success. The daVinci system has:

  • Four robotic hands: These are called EndoWrist instruments, and they do work just like hands. They can grab things, twist, and turn—and they’re incredibly small. The robotic hands allow the surgeon to make very precise movements.
  • 3D camera: This is a high-definition camera that gives the surgeon a 3D image of the thyroid. He or she can zoom in and get an even more detailed look; the camera includes magnification of 10x.
  • Console: The surgeon sits at the console, where he or she controls the four robotic hands and sees images from the 3D camera.

The four robotic hands and the 3D camera are inserted through the incisions. The surgeon can then accurately remove part or all of the thyroid, depending on what the patient needs.

As a reassurance, the daVinci robot is completely under the control of the surgeon. The robotic hands cannot move on their own; they must be told what to do by the surgeon. The daVinci Surgery System also cannot be programmed; the surgeon must be there giving input and making decisions during the surgery.

Advantages of Robotic Thyroidectomy

Dr. Mudit, who was trained in robotic thyroidectomy by the surgeons who developed the technique in South Korea, explains the advantages of robotic thyroidectomy over traditional open operation:

  • No incision in the neck
  • Better identification of critical structures: Due to the magnified 3D view, it is easier to identify critical structures, such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve (the nerve that goes to your voice box) and parathyroid glands.

The recovery time for robotic thyroidectomy is almost about the same as it is for open —a patient usually spends one-3 day in the hospital following the surgery.

Disadvantages of Robotic Thyroidectomy

The only disadvantages  sees in robotic thyroidectomy right now is that it can’t be used on every patient.

Who Can Have a Robotic Thyroidectomy?

Right now, robotic thryoidectomies work best for patients who:

  • Have not undergone previous neck surgery
  • Have  nodules less than 5cm
  • Have nodules on just one side of the thyroid gland



The biggest benefit is, of course, the lack of a scar on the neck. . Cosmetically speaking, a robotic thyroidectomy is a huge step forward in thyroid surgery.

And beyond the cosmetic benefits, robotic thyroidectomy is a fascinating advance in how surgeons can treat thyroid patients. It enables surgeons to do endoscopic procedures with more precision because the robotic hands have dexterity similar to, if not better than, human hands.


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