The thyroid, which sits just under the Adam's apple and controls the body's metabolic rate, is about the size of a kiwi. Benign and cancerous disease can more than double its size. Dr. David Terris, Porubsky professor and chairman of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, has helped shepherd in minimally-invasive approaches that reduced neck incisions from several inches to less than an inch within the last few years.
The daVinci Surgical System, in which surgeons sitting at a console maneuver through tight spaces and around corners, enables access to the thyroid through the armpit, Terris said.
"In my opinion, if you are committed to not having a neck scar, this is the best way to do it," Terris said of patients who are trim, have benign disease and need only half of their two-lobed thyroid gland removed.
He and his colleagues – Dr. F. Christopher Holsinger, associate professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Dr. Ronald B. Kuppersmith, clinical faculty member at Texas A & M Health Science Center – provide an overview of the robotic technique they are helping develop in the United States in the current print edition of Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America.
Although the armpit is farther from the gland than the neck is, simply raising the patient's arm during surgery shortens the path, leaving a fairly straightforward approach made navigable by the three- dimensional visualization and wrist-like maneuverability of the robot.
"The robot is what makes it possible to easily – and safely – do the work from that distance," Terris said. Surgeons gain access through a two-to-three-inch armpit incision, then work their way through skin and fat and finally in between two big neck muscles. "It's a long way down a big tunnel to get to that thyroid through the armpit that would not be possible without telescopes and long instruments," he said.
In the August 2004 edition of Laryngoscope Terris advocated the technique for select patients after comparing five minimally invasive approaches in pigs. While acknowledging that the armpit approach is a lot more work in humans, experience has enabled Terris to complete the procedure in less than two hours vs. under an hour via a three-quarter-inch neck incision.
Korean surgeons have the most experience to date with robotic thyroidectomy in humans and are using the approach to remove both lobes, Terris said, noting that cultural concerns about neck scars helped push Koreans to be pioneers in the field. He thinks improving technology will hasten the procedure's acceptance in the United States, where robotics in other medical procedures are already common.
In the journal article, the thyroid surgeons recommend that colleagues interested in the approach should complete robotics training, practice thyroid removal on cadavers, watch an experienced surgeon use the technique, then have a surgeon watch them.
Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Noninvasive eye scan could detect key signs of Alzheimer's years before patients show symptoms
18.08.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) overcomes swallowing disorders and hypersalivation – a case report
10.08.2017 | Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften e.V.
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences