Surgical completeness of bilateral axillo-breast approach robotic thyroidectomy: Comparison with conventional open thyroidectomy after propensity score matching

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Bilateral axillo-breast approach (BABA) robotic thyroidectomy (RoT) has good postoperative and excellent cosmetic outcomes. To assess the surgical completeness of BABA RoT, it was compared to open thyroidectomy (OT) after propensity score matching of the cohorts.


Between 2008 and 2010, 760 patients who underwent total thyroidectomy with central node dissection (CND) caused by papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) in Seoul National University Hospital were enrolled; 327 BABA robotic and 423 open method operations were performed. We selected 174 robotic and 237 open thyroidectomy patients who received radioactive iodine (RAI) ablation. Propensity score matching using 3 demographic and 5 pathologic factors was used to generate 2 matched cohorts, each composed of 108 patients.


The matched BABA RoT and OT cohorts were not different with regard to the RAI uptake ratio, stimulated thyroglobulin (Tg) levels, or proportion of patients with stimulated Tg levels <1.0 ng/mL on the first ablation. The number of RAI ablation sessions and RAI doses needed to achieve a complete ablation also did not differ significantly.


The surgical completeness of BABA RoT did not differ from OT. BABA RoT may be suitable for patients with PTC who prefer scarless neck surgery.

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