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June 2012

Why Are More Costly and More Dangerous Surgical Procedures Being Developed?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Wexner Medical Center, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(6):539-540. doi:10.1001/archoto.2012.926

Recent issues of 2 highly respected otolaryngology journals have contained reports describing the development of surgical alternatives for the removal of thyroid masses and pediatric benign neck masses that appear to be both more costly and more dangerous than the standard procedures that accomplish the same result. Kandil et al1 reported their experience in 50 patients treated with robotic techniques, intraoperative nerve monitoring, and a transaxillary approach to remove a thyroid mass that is generally removed by a reasonably small incision placed in a relaxed skin tension line. Their results demonstrated that the actual operative time was longer than what would be required by an experienced surgeon performing the standard approach. The authors describe an array of dangerous complications they experienced and that others reported using this approach that are nonexistent in the standard approach.

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