Minimal incision for open thyroidectomy

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OBJECTIVES:To establish the incision length for thyroid surgery that optimizes access and cosmesis.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:Prospective study from January 2003 to June 2004. All thyroidectomies were included. Exclusion criteria were concomitant neck dissections, previous surgery, and those performed endoscopically. The first 40 cases were attempted through a 5 cm incision and the second 40 through a 4 cm incision.METHODS:In both groups, the size of the incision was compared with the thyroid’s weight and histology.RESULTS:Two subtotal, 22 total, and 56 hemithyroidectomies were performed. In the first group, median gland weight was 39.5 gm and 62.5% of these were removed through a 5 cm incision. In the second group, median gland weight was 34 gm and 75% were removed through a 4 cm incision.CONCLUSION:A 4 cm incision provides adequate access for the majority of thyroidectomies in our cohort.SIGNIFICANCE:The minimal incision thyroidectomy is a useful addition to the thyroid surgeon’s armamentarium.EBM rating: B-3b

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