American Thyroid Association Statement on Remote-Access Thyroid Surgery.
Remote-access techniques have been described over the recent years as a method of removing the thyroid gland without an incision in the neck. However, there is confusion related to the number of techniques available and the ideal patient selection criteria for a given technique. The aims of this review were to develop a simple classification of these approaches, describe the optimal patient selection criteria, evaluate the outcomes objectively, and define the barriers to adoption.A review of the literature was performed to identify the described techniques. A simple classification was developed. Technical details, outcomes, and the learning curve were described. Expert opinion consensus was formulated regarding recommendations for patient selection and performance of remote-access thyroid surgery.Remote-access thyroid procedures can be categorized into endoscopic or robotic breast, bilateral axillo-breast, axillary, and facelift approaches. The experience in the United States involves the latter two techniques. The limited data in the literature suggest long operative times, a steep learning curve, and higher costs with remote-access thyroid surgery compared with conventional thyroidectomy. Nevertheless, a consensus was reached that, in appropriate hands, it can be a viable option for patients with unilateral small nodules who wish to avoid a neck incision.Remote-access thyroidectomy has a role in a small group of patients who fit strict selection criteria. These approaches require an additional level of expertise, and therefore should be done by surgeons performing a high volume of thyroid and robotic surgery.
Berber, E; Bernet, V; Fahey, TJ; Kebebew, E; Shaha, A; Stack, BC; Stang, M; Steward, DL; Terris, DJ; American Thyroid Association Surgical Affairs Committee,
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