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Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery Without a Neck Scar

Thyroid Surgery – The thyroid gland is one of the body's most important endocrine organs and is an important component in controlling the body’s metabolism. Thyroid surgery is sometimes necessary as a means of treating thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, or other diseases of the thyroid gland. During this surgery part or all of the thyroid gland is removed. Traditional approaches to thyroid surgery, both open and endoscopic, require an incision to be made at the base of the neck, resulting in a visible scar and possible damage to the nearby glands and nerves.

Parathyroid Surgery – The parathyroid glands are four small glands, located in the neck, that produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), a hormone that manages the body’s blood calcium level. Proper calcium balance is crucial to the normal functioning of the heart, nervous system, kidneys, and bones. Hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more of the parathyroid glands makes too much PTH. Surgical removal (parathyroidectomy) of the hyperactive gland(s) is the only known cure for primary hyperparathyroidism and is currently the best treatment option. Traditional approaches to parathyroid surgery, both open and endoscopic, require an incision to be made at the base of the neck, resulting in a visible scar and possible damage to the nearby glands and nerves.

Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery Without a Neck Scar – Transaxillary robotic-assisted thyroid and parathyroid surgery utilizes the latest da Vinci® Si High Definition minimally invasive robotic surgical system to make a two inch incision below the armpit. This allows Dr. Kandil to maneuver a small camera and specially designed surgical and nerve monitoring instruments between the muscles of the neck to access the thyroid or parathyroid gland; diseased tissue can be removed through this incision, eliminating the prominent neck scar that is a byproduct of the traditional surgical approach, and reducing the risk of injury to the nearby glands and nerves.

Scarless Neck Surgery VS. Traditional

The da Vinci® Si High Definition minimally invasive robotic surgical system allows for an enhanced view of the patient’s anatomy and greater surgical precision than the traditional open or endoscopic surgical method.  Dr. Emad Kandil of the Tulane Thyroid Center is the only endocrine surgeon in the country that is qualified to perform robotic-assisted thyroid and parathyroid surgery; he has successfully treated patients who were previously considered not to be candidates for this surgical approach.

Why Robotic Assisted Surgery?

Until recently the only two surgical options for thyroid and parathyroid surgery were open surgery and endoscopic surgery. The traditional method that has been practiced for many years is referred to as open surgery; this approach is considered effective but requires an incision across the neck which can leave a visible scar. Also, the view into the deeper structures of the neck containing delicate nerves is limited, allowing for potential injury to the nearby nerves and glands. Endoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive technique that is effective but can also leave scaring on the neck that is the result of multiple, small incisions.

A recent advancement in the options available for thyroid and parathyroid surgery is the use of the da Vinci® Si High Definition robotic- assisted surgical system, which integrates computer-enhanced surgical technology with the surgeon’s skill.  This system provides Dr. Kandil with a field of vision that is superior to open or endoscopic surgery, and instrument dexterity and range of motion that is greater than the human hand. The da Vinci® Si High Definition robotic surgical system and nerve monitoring instruments provide Dr. Kandil with a three-dimensional enhanced high-definition field of vision, with up to 10X magnification, resulting in an enhanced view of patient anatomy. The multiple robotic arms provide access to the thyroid or parathyroid glands through an incision that is made under the arm, eliminating the visible neck scar that is associated with traditional thyroid and parathyroid surgical approaches. 

 

 

The da Vinci system consists of an ergonomically designed surgeon’s console, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a high-performance vision system, and specially designed cameras and surgical instruments. Powered by state-of-the-art computer technology, Dr. Kandil’s hand movements are scaled, filtered and seamlessly translated into precise movements using electromechanically enhanced instruments that relay feedback sensations from the operative field throughout the procedure.

Some patients may not be a candidate for robotic-assisted surgery due to disease complications or health status.  Dr. Kandil reviews all patient records in order to determine the appropriate surgical approach.

Tulane University School of Medicine – Tulane Thyroid Center 1-888-214-5968 tulanethyroidcenter@tulane.edu