Incision Length for Standard Thyroidectomy and Parathyroidectomy: When Is It Minimally Invasive? | Endocrine Surgery | JAMA Surgery | JAMA Network
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Original Article
October 1, 2003

Incision Length for Standard Thyroidectomy and Parathyroidectomy: When Is It Minimally Invasive?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco (Drs Brunaud, Zarnegar, Wada, Ituarte, Clark, and Duh), and Mount Zion Medical Center, San Francisco (Drs Brunaud, Zarnegar, Wada, Ituarte, and Clark); and Surgical Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco (Dr Duh). Dr Brunaud is now with the Department of General and Endocrine Surgery, University of Nancy, Brabois, France.

Arch Surg. 2003;138(10):1140-1143. doi:10.1001/archsurg.138.10.1140
Abstract

Hypothesis  Current techniques for open conventional thyroidectomy or parathyroidectomy have evolved to enable a shorter incision (main proposition), and the length of the incision is influenced by objective factors.

Design  Case series.

Setting  University referral center.

Patients and Intervention  Retrospective study of the most recent 200 primary consecutive routine thyroid and parathyroid operations (excluding neck dissections).

Main Outcome Measures  The length of incision was routinely measured with a ruler before the incision. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed to distinguish variables affecting length of incision.

Results  Mean length of the incision was 5.5 cm for total thyroidectomy, 4.6 cm for lobectomy, and 3.5 cm for parathyroidectomy (P<.001). It was 4.1 cm for bilateral parathyroid exploration, but was reduced to 3.2 and 2.8 cm for unilateral (P<.001) and focal (P<.001) explorations, respectively. By multiple regression analysis, thyroid specimen volume and patient body mass index were independent predictors of incision length in thyroidectomy. Extent of exploration and resident training level were independent predictors of incision length in parathyroidectomy.

Conclusions  Current techniques for open conventional thyroidectomy or parathyroidectomy have evolved to enable a shorter incision. Thyroid volume, patient body mass index, extent of the planned parathyroid exploration, and the resident clinical training stage are important variables for incision length in open operation and should be taken into account when minimally invasive thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy are evaluated.

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