Robotic Transaxillary Total Thyroidectomy Using a Unilateral Approach

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There has been a recent interest at performing thyroid procedures robotically through an axillary approach. Although the technique for a unilateral thyroid lobectomy has been well established, there are controversies about whether a unilateral or bilateral axillary approach should be used for total thyroidectomy. Furthermore, there also questions as to whether a robotic total thyroidectomy would be oncologically equivalent to the traditional procedure. We have been performing our robotic total thyroidcetomies through a unilateral axillary approach, using principles learned in traditional surgery for removing substernal goiter. In this report, we describe a technique of robotic unilateral transaxillary total thyroidectomy validated by follow-up radioactive iodine uptake and serum thyroglobulin data.

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