Brunaud et al1 are to be commended for their attempt to numerically define an elusive term. They propose that the term minimally invasive be used to describe only thyroid procedures that are routinely associated with an incision shorter than 3 cm. This arbitrary threshold was apparently based on their observation that the shortest length of incisions in their current series of open conventional lobectomies was 3 cm (mean, 4.6 cm). Coincidentally, 1 month earlier I published results of an open hemithyroidectomy series with a similar mean incision length of 4.7 cm (shortest measurement, 2.7cm).2 In my case, minimally invasive thyroidectomy would have meant procedures performed through a wound shorter than 2.7 cm.
Ng JWT. Minimally Invasive Surgery or Minimal-Incision Thyroidectomy?. Arch Surg. 2004;139(7):802. doi:10.1001/archsurg.139.7.802-a