What is Robotic Thyroid Surgery?Robotic thyroid surgery is a new technique for surgical removal of the thyroid gland using an operating robot to facilitate the dissection. Robotic thyroid surgery is a type of "scarless" thyroid surgery because there is no incision in the neck and thus there is no neck scar whatsoever. The robotic instruments are placed into small incisions in the arm pit, and the operation is performed with the surgeon controlling the robotic arms while sitting at a console that provides amazing vision of the tissues allowing significantly better results for many patients.
Robotic technology was introduced to surgery over a decade ago and many surgical specialties have adapted the novel technology and made the transition from endoscopic to robotic technique. In fact, robotic surgery became a standard of care for many specialties including urology, thoracic, colorectal, gynecology, etc. In endocrine surgery, robotic thyroid surgery techniques were largely developed in South Korea. Specifically, the bilateral axillo-breast approach (BABA) robotic thyroidectomy was developed and mastered by surgeons in at the Seoul National University. Dr Suh, the editor of this website and the highest volume robotic thyroid surgeon in the US trained in Korea with the developers of this technique.
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How is Robotic Thyroid Surgery Performed?Robotic thyroid surgery is performed using the latest robotic technology which includes 3-D camera and robotic instruments such as energy devices and graspers. Through the minimally invasive incisions in the armpits, the robotic instruments are placed. Then the surgeon will control the instrument and perform the thyroid surgery. We have an entire page that goes into much more detail on how robotic thyroid surgery is performed.
Who Should Have Robotic Thyroid Surgery?Robotic thyroid surgery can be the best choice for many people, men or women, young or old. There are no specific age limitation although certain pediatric patients may not be suitable. Robotic thyroidectomy can be performed for symptomatic or suspicious thyroid nodules, large thyroid goiter with compressive symptoms, autoimmune disease such as hyperthyroidism (Graves disease) or hypothyroidism (Hashimoto disease), and thyroid cancer including many thyroid cancers that may have spread to the adjacent lymph nodes. We have an entire page that goes into much more detail on who is a good candidate for robotic thyroid surgery.
Robotic Thyroid Surgery is Often Better than Standard Open SurgeryCurrently, robotic thyroid surgery and the traditional open thyroid surgery have same safety and outcomes for appropriate candidates. However, robotic thyroid surgery has clear cosmetic and confidentiality benefits. Furthermore, robotic technology is continuously evolving with more enhanced software and hardware leading to better visualization (3-D and magnified) including a near infrared camera system for image-guided operation, specialized energy devices and advanced instruments to assist with dissection and gentle tissue handling. We have an entire page that goes into much more detail on the benefits of robotic thyroid surgery.
We have an entire page that discusses how to travel to Tampa to have Dr Suh perform your scarless thyroid operation.