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Invited Commentary
May 2013

Modern Thyroidectomy and the Tailored Surgical Approach

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Divisions of General Otolaryngology and Thyroid/Parathyroid Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013;139(5):517-518. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.301

Through the work of Theodor Kocher, MD, in the early 1900s, thyroid surgery became elevated to a safe and even triumphant treatment form. Given that surgical complications are low, expert surgeons have pushed the frontiers of modern thyroidectomy. They have investigated novel approaches whose emergence has paralleled modern thyroidectomy and taken advantage of technical advances in optics, hemostatic devices, and robotics. With these trends, there has been increased attention toward optimization of the cosmetic scar result at thyroidectomy, with many of these procedures focused on achieving a small or distant scar. All these issues are expertly reviewed in Terris's article “Surgical Approaches to the Thyroid Gland: Which Is the Best for You and Your Patient?”1

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