"Summer of 2011, I noticed a large nodule on my right thyroid gland. We spoke to many doctors and realized that a biopsy would be necessary. When my results came back as inconclusive, surgery was the only option. I am 19 years old and I was very afraid of the thought of living with a scar on my neck for the rest of my life. I then did my research and discovered the new robotic thyroidectomy. I am now living in Florida but am originally from New Orleans. I found that Dr Kandil performed the surgery at Tulane. Doctor Kandil was absolutely wonderful and I have never had such a great doctor who seemed to care so much. He was extremely informative and professional. My parents absolutely loved him as well! The surgery went great and the scar under my arm is barely even noticeable. I recovered within about 2 months. It is so great that they have this new surgery and I would recommend Dr. Kandil to anyone. He is great!" Kristie C.
"My 19 year old daughter Kristie suddenly developed a large mass on her neck, which turned out to be a thyroid tumor. Her dad and I had just lost his brother to a malignant brain tumor, so we wanted her to have it removed immediately. She began researching doctors who did a robotic approach though the axilla, since she didn't want a scar on her neck. I had been a surgical RN for many years and had never heard of this approach. I had many questions and concerns and Dr. Kandil took the time to answer them and never made me feel rushed. My husband and I were very impressed with his knowledge, experience and warm, down-to-earth manner. Dr. Kandil ordered an ultrasound before the surgery and stayed with Kristie during the entire procedure. As an RN I can tell you this is pretty unusual to have a physician stay during such a test. He shows a genuine concern for his patients that is very reassuring. Immediately after the operation Dr. Kandil prepared us that the tumor could be malignant. He explained a plan of care for Kristie should the pathologist find the mass to be malignant. A week later we got the wonderful news that the mass was benign and she could get back to her life as a college student. Dr. Kandil is an amazing physician that I would highly recommend." Kristie's Mother
"When I discovered that I needed to remove the right lobe of my thyroid, I was very concerned about having a long visible scar on my neck. I did my own research and read in an article about transaxillary robotic surgery in the U.S.A. (New Orleans). Because I live in Portugal, it seemed almost impossible, but I contacted Dr. Kandil via e-mail and he responded promptly to all my questions. It was exceptional. After conversing with Dr. Kandil, I decided to schedule my surgery and travel to New Orleans. The surgery was a great success, fast recovery and absence of neck pain. This robot allowed the doctor to remove all my diseased tissue, saving the rest of my gland. My deep appreciation goes out to all the health care professionals at Tulane Medical Center, and in particular to Dr. Kandil's dedication and commitment to this procedure. I recommend this procedure to anyone because it is minimally invasive surgery and Dr Kandil is an excellent professional, very demanding and well qualified." Claudia from Portugal
"I am from Canada and in the medical field myself. When I noticed a growing lump on my neck, my doctors in Canada recommended surgery through the neck but I was reluctant to have a long visible scar. I did my own research and found Transaxillary Robotic surgery. I have never heard of this – no one in Canada is trained for this surgery. I got in touch with Dr. Kandil. He replied immediately and addressed all my questions, explained the procedure and even the cost as I am a private payer.
Dr. Kandil performed my surgery using the da Vinci robot system. The medical care was outstanding and I had a great experience. I was out of the hospital the next day and had great time visiting New Orleans with my family. After the hospital, I did not need any pain medicine. The surgery did not hold me back. I had full range of motion in my neck and my left arm (the site of surgery) shortly after the surgery. I have no scar on my neck and I have a very well concealed left axillary scar. I am still wearing my tank tops.
I can't thank Dr. Kandil enough for providing me with the best care. I believe robotic surgery is the way of the future. I had out-standing and competent care at Dr. Kandil's office and special thanks to Vanessa and thanks to the nurses and the doctors at Tulane Medical Center who provided me with superb care." F. Adams, Canada AB
"My name is Erin. I am an RN in South Florida. My thyroid nodules were found on a cervical spine MRI (2005). My physician’s care at that time was to monitor my thyroid through ultrasound, iodine uptake (nuclear med) and blood work. I also had a fine needle biopsy showed hyperplasia.
On my last ultrasound, in November 2010, the nodule had increased in size and was suggestive of cancer. I honestly knew it had grown because I was feeling pressure against my esophagus when swallowing everything and off to the ENT physician I went. He recommended surgical intervention. I was afraid of being cut at my neck and the scar it would leave. He then informed me that the transaxillary approach has been approved. In researching, I was impressed because the use of robotics allows a more precise surgery. It shows a 3D view and provides protection of the sensitive nerves.
My research led me to Dr. Kandil. He is a leader in teaching and instructing this surgical procedure. After reviewing my medical records, he informed me I was a good candidate for transaxillary robotic surgery. His staff assisted me with the pre-op I needed, scheduled my pre and post surgical visits and kindly provided a surgery date at my convenience, as I had to arrange to travel for this surgery. On Wednesday, I had my initial meeting with Dr. Kandil. I was pleasantly pleased that he listened to me and heard my concerns. He answered my questions about the surgery and incision. The incision site was a big concern for me, as I am coming from South Florida and I practically live in my bathing suit. I felt reassured that I would not have a noticeable scar.
Thursday was my surgery. It was a pleasant experience as I was cared for in a professional manner from pre to post operation. I woke up after surgery to my nurse Joy and a visit from my doctors! I spent the night and the staff was attentive. Dr. Kandil even visited my hospital room.
The next day, I was discharged with a drain under my arm, instructions on medicine and surgical site care. I was doing great! My discomfort was minimal so by Sunday, I was out of my room by 12:00. I shopped and walked around New Orleans by myself. I was eating cereal and subs without any difficulty swallowing which is not the case with cervical incisions. Monday was a follow up visit in the ENT clinic. Vanessa the PA pulled my drain and I returned to Florida that afternoon.
Once the final pathology report was available, Dr. Kandil called and spoke with me directly to report the findings and check on my progress. My recovery at home went smoothly. My incision is at my left side in the curve of my armpit. I had minimal discomfort and felt stronger daily. I know I chose the best physician and procedure for my situation. Every time I look into the mirror, I smile. I am so thankful not to see a cervical scar after my thyroid surgery. I thank you, Dr. Kandil, for your surgical ability, care and dedication to providing this option. It was a divine experience for me from arrival to departure." Erin S., FL
"As part of an unrelated examination, nodules were discovered in my thyroid. The pathology report seemed somewhat ominous that perhaps there was a malignancy, so my endocrinologist referred me to Dr. Kandil. His staff and clinic director were most helpful in getting an appointment for me quickly.
Dr. Kandil was very informative, discussing the possibilities of a malignancy, but had a plan to save half of my thyroid in the event that there was no malignancy. His treatment plan was intentioned, intelligent, and sensitive to my needs for care. As well, he was very comforting, confident and concerned about my outcome, since I am a health care provider as well. There was no malignancy and I still have half of a functioning thyroid!
My duties as a chiropractor require that I am able to use my upper body strength, and require that I not be absent from my practice for an extended period of time. His surgical approach left me with no scar on my neck, and no complications whatsoever. In fact, the procedure was 'same day' surgery, and I was in my home relaxing by that afternoon.
I would highly recommend Dr. Kandil and the da Vinci technique as well as limited time at the hospital. There is no place like home when you have something like this to deal with.
I am very pleased with my rapid recovery, I am very happy to have met Dr. Kandil and his kind staff. My referral list for my own patients will definitely include him and your Medical Center." Celine L., Harvey, LA
"I had a very positive experience, it was fantastic, and I had no pain at all. I did not even open the pain killers that were prescribed to me. In three days time I was ready to continue my activities almost as normal. Dr. Kandil and his team take excellent care of their patients." Ligia M., Honduras
"When I realized I was going to have thyroid surgery, I was concerned about recovery and scarring. Dr. Kandil explained that he could make the incision in the natural folds of my skin on my chest and underarm, making the scars hard to notice. I agreed to this type of surgery and I am thankful every day for it. I can wear a sleeveless shirt or swim suit and my scar, which is about three inches in length under my arm, goes totally undetected.
After the surgery, Dr. Kandil and his nursing staff made me feel like I was their only patient. If I had any question or concern, they were on top of it ensuring my piece of mind. I am very pleased with the surgery's outcome and I greatly appreciate the concern from Dr. Kandil and his staff." Kathryn S.
"On August 10, 2010, Dr. Kandil performed a robotic procedure to remove a nodule from my throat. The procedure was a success and the following morning, I was up saying a prayer for my roommate. I didn't have any pain in my throat and was very happy to learn of the new procedure. Thanks very much for being a blessing and coming to my aid." Louis R.
"I was recommended for robotic surgery on the thyroid by Dr. Emad Kandil at Tulane University Medical Center. After surgery my arms were stiff as if I had slept on them the wrong way, the stiffness was not bad and resolved in a couple of hours. Other than that, I didn't even need pain medication.
The surgery did not leave a scar on my neck and there was no pain following surgery. I went home the day after the surgery. Dr. Kandil is a skilled and thorough surgeon. I recommend this procedure and Dr Kandil to anyone." Jeanette H.
"Dr. Emad Kandil is a doctor I will never forget. When my thyroid was diagnosed with suspicious nodules, one fear that I had was the dreaded 'Neck Scar'. This gentle doctor is unique in that he removed part of my thyroid by going through my armpit area, and this was a same-day surgery!
I am so grateful to Dr. Emad Kandil for his knowledge. Now I do not have to focus on a scar on my neck." Leslie N.
"I had thyroid surgery on 22 July with the robotic device as opposed to going through the neck. As of 13 Sept, I have had no pain – I have not used any pain medicine at all. I have had no side effects, I have full range of motion, and I do not have any voice or other neck related issues. I am pleased that this was about as simple a procedure there could be. I had a lot more pain and difficult recovery when my wisdom teeth were removed." P. D.
"Upon finding out that I needed a total right thyroidectomy, I was very nervous about the traditional method of surgery. At 32 years old, I hated the thought of having to deal with a large scar on my neck for the rest of my life. As a singer, I was also scared of losing my voice or becoming hoarse, a risk of traditional surgery.
My fears about surgery were greatly decreased after finding out about the robotic transaxillary procedure performed by Dr. Kandil. I was very impressed after he reviewed my medical records and spoke with me at length about my surgery. He also took the time to review my case with my local endocrinologist.
I was able to return home four days post-operation and was back to work in less than two weeks. I am so grateful to Dr. Kandil and his staff for providing excellent care. It was definitely worth traveling from North Carolina to Louisiana for the procedure, and I highly recommend Dr. Kandil to anyone requiring thyroid surgery."
Jennifer M., North Carolina
"My family doctor told me I had two nodules on my thyroid. After meeting with Dr. Kandil, I knew I was in the right place. He had the knowledge, the expertise and resources available to treat whatever was found.
Surgery was a must, but by robot? What's the big deal about the regular way of having thyroid surgery, is the scar really that bad? I researched on the Internet and was shocked by the nasty scar it leaves. I was a college soccer player – I had 3 knee surgeries and know scars, but this scar is very apparent and cannot be concealed – it is life-changing. I finally understood why this robot was so revolutionary, and Dr. Kandil is an expert on it.
Dr. Kandil removed both nodules along with a portion of my thyroid. I spent one night in the hospital as a precautionary measure, the incision was very small, recovery time was short, and I was up and about in a couple of days. The scar is almost invisible. I have to point it out to people when they ask to see it.
Unfortunately, I would use the da Vinci robot again. Four months later, my mother looked at me and told me she saw a lump on my throat. I had rapidly growing tumors on my thyroid. Again, the robot was a total success. The robot has saved me from two nasty neck incisions with considerable healing time, not to mention the cosmetic factor that has been avoided. It's an amazing invention changing lives everyday." Jamie R.
"My experience with robotic surgery was actually my first experience with surgery ever. I was overwhelmed after local doctors found calcification in my thyroid gland and suggested I see Dr. Kandil. He explained a procedure to remove the left side of the thyroid that would not involve a cut across my neck. This information was very comforting. I didn’t want to have to always answer for a scar on my neck. Also, the quick recovery was of extreme importance to me because I have 3 children, and the youngest was only 1 ½ years old. I work full time and getting myself back to a regular routine in the shortest possible time was important to me and my family.
The first week after surgery went smooth, just extra rest and no lifting. I was able to drive about 10 days after the surgery and was back to my full-time office position in only 2 ½ weeks. My first week back at work was a full load…..dropping kids off at school and sitter, 40 hours at work, and baseball practices in the evenings. Coworkers and friends didn’t even know about my surgery unless I told them. There was no visible evidence for me to explain. I am able to wear sleeveless v-neck shirts and bathing suits without anyone seeing the red scar line under my arm." Natalie G.
"I was very satisfied with my robotic surgery, and I'm very happy with the fact that I have no visible neck scars, it did not affect my vocal cords and I had no need for any pain medications thanks to the game ready ice jacket. I was able to return to work within two weeks. I would highly recommend this procedure." Melanie K.
I first discovered I had a large nodule on my thyroid with an inconclusive fine needle aspiration biopsy. Surgery was my only option and I felt like everything was out of my control. I was afraid of the outcome, if I had cancer, and I was afraid of the surgery.
After much research I settled on a very good surgeon. He had all the right credentials, the education, the experience and excellent training. We met and settled on a date for traditional surgery. I was a wreck. I kept thinking about the surgery, the recovery process, my fear, my children and what a long recovery time would mean to me. I literally typed in "Good News + Thyroid Surgery" and hit search. I was hoping for a few blogs about how it wasn't so bad and I would be fine.
Instead I got Dr. Kandil and the latest in Thyroid surgery using the robotic da Vinci procedure. I was immediately intrigued and started doing my research. I learned there were few facilities in the U.S. that do this surgery on a regular basis.
I decided to inquire. What would be the harm in just making a few phone calls? I left my number with Caroline, Dr. Kandil's assistant. She was so warm and pleasant. Imagine my surprise, when Dr. Kandil himself called me back. In my area of Wyoming, doctors do not call patients, and every second speaking to them is a billable hour. I asked him if he thought I was crazy to fly from Wyoming. He said no, people flew to see him all the time. I told him that I was just from a small town, and why me? He told me, "Why not YOU?" I wanted the surgery very badly and hoped dates and times would work out.
Dr. Kandil went out of his way to make the dates work for me. It is something he tries to do for anyone willing to travel to see him. At the initial inquiry I had also faxed my medical records to one of the other facilities, as they too had a great reputation. They said that I was not a good candidate for the surgery. I wasn't given a detailed explanation but found interviews that lead me to believe it was because I am a larger woman with a definite weight problem, and my nodule was almost twice the size of the nodules they generally take out with this procedure. I felt traditional was going to be my only option, and that felt barbaric after researching the da Vinci way.
I was very worried that I would not be a candidate for surgery. I emailed Dr. Kandil, who assured me that he would make adjustments in the surgery and I would be fine. He emailed me with a date and told me to book my tickets.
I believed in Dr. Kandil from the beginning. I knew he was the only one for this surgery. I knew he had the experience and expertise I was looking for, but what defines Dr. Kandil as a great doctor is not his technical skills but rather his exceptional people skills. He puts his patients first and makes you feel like you are his only patient.
His staff is professional and personable as well. Dr. Kandil and his entire staff give you their personal cell phone numbers; who has ever heard of a doctor doing that?
I met with Dr. Kandil and had to spend the day taking pre-op tests, and all was set for the next day. I was not nervous, I knew Dr. Kandil had the hard work; I just had to lay on the table and sleep. I woke up and he was there, checking on me in the recovery room. He asked me to speak to him and I remember doing so, briefly because I was pretty worn out. My voice was fine, and I remember putting my hand on my neck, as if to check to make sure I had no bandage there, making sure everything went as planned.
In my hospital room that evening, the nurse asked me if I needed pain meds. I told her no, that I was uncomfortable but not terribly so. She told me to take at least a dose, as it is easier to stay ahead of the pain rather than control it later. I agreed and my family laughed at me when I told them that I had ordered some shoes from my hospital room from QVC. I obviously was fine.
Dr. Kandil had three surgeries the day he operated on me, mine being second. I did not expect him to come to see me that night, but he sent a team of doctors to check in on me as well as communicated with my nurse. I saw Dr. Kandil the next day and then I was released. I stayed in New Orleans over the weekend and had my drain tube removed the following Monday.
I was sore, there is no doubt about that, but I was okay. I went to dinner with my family, and even a few outings over the weekend.
I know I made the right decision, both with the doctor and the procedure. If I could tell anyone anything, I would say don't be nervous. It is unpleasant, but not unbearable and Dr. Kandil and his team do this all the time. They know what they are doing and you are lucky to have this procedure.
It is with the deepest gratitude that I thank Dr. Kandil for his care and dedication. Jane P., Wyoming
Photos and testimonials courtesy www.allaboutroboticsurgery.com.
Tulane University School of Medicine – Tulane Thyroid Center 1-888-214-5968 firstname.lastname@example.org