Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New approach to thyroid surgery eliminates neck scar

10.08.2011
Minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to remove thyroid tumors by way of the armpit

As the rate of thyroid cancer continues to climb, doctors are urging patients to be more cautious about thyroid nodules, a common disorder that is responsible for a small but growing number of thyroid cancer cases.

Thyroid nodules affect nearly 13 million Americans and are a result of abnormal cell growth on the gland. Until recently, the only way to remove nodules and rule out cancer was through surgery that required a five centimeter incision across the front of the neck. The procedure, and the large scar that resulted, was a deterrent for many patients who feared altering their appearance for something that may not be life threatening. Today however, a new option exists that allows surgeons to access the neck through the armpit, allowing for a biopsy of tissue with no visible scar.

"We now have a minimally invasive way of determining if a thyroid nodule is cancerous," said Jose Dutra, MD, head and neck surgical oncologist and director of the Thyroid Surgical Clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "It's an approach that more patients are comfortable pursuing. If we can identify cancerous cells earlier we increase the chance of removing the cancer before it spreads."

The procedure, transaxillary robotic thyroid surgery, utilizes 3D cameras and specially designed robotic arms to create a small incision within the armpit, the mechanical arms work just like hands allowing the specialized surgeon to operate remotely with precise control and movements to remove suspicious nodules.

"The underarm area has fewer nerve endings than the anterior neck area, so there's less pain, no scarring on the neck, and with good care, the incision will heal faster," said Dutra who is also an associate professor at the department of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

This summer, Socorro Delaluz became one of the first patients at Northwestern Memorial to undergo transaxillary thyroid robotic surgery. The mother of two was impressed to have the option that left no visible scar and the quick recovery associated with the technique.

"I didn't want to be reminded constantly, every morning when I get dressed that I had a scar across my neck. I would have to explain to everyone what happened all the time," expressed Delaluz.

Another benefit of the minimally invasive approach is that the precision of the robot allows physicians to remove all of the potentially cancerous tissue while sparing more of the structure surrounding the gland.

"The thyroid gland controls how the body uses energy. Changes to the gland can cause a myriad of health issues," explained Dutra, member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Thyroid nodules are six-times more common in women than men and can be difficult to diagnose because they often do not present signs or symptoms. Most nodules are small and are often found incidentally during a routine physical or imaging for an unrelated condition. Conditions that can cause one or more nodules to develop in the thyroid gland range from overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue, tumors, a cyst, inflammation and goiters. Individuals should routinely check their neck and should talk with their doctor if they notice any lumps or experience symptoms such as swelling, trouble swallowing, and pain in the throat or hoarseness of the voice.

Robotic surgery is currently widely used for minimally invasive heart and lower abdominal procedures, only recently have the robotic arms been applied to the confined space involved in neck and head surgery. The benefits for robotic thyroid surgery include shorter recovery period, less pain in neck following surgery and better preservation of the laryngeal nerves and the parathyroid glands.

Jennifer Panaro recently had a large nodule removed from her thyroid gland by way of transaxillary thyroid robotic surgery and was back on the tennis court just six weeks after her surgery. The 28 year old was impressed with the speedy recovery and was pleased her voice was protected. "I was thrilled to not experience any changes in my voice or to have deal with a large scar on my neck. As an accountant, I talk to clients all day and I would be self conscious about having a foreign mark across my throat," said Panaro, patient at Northwestern Memorial.

While the new technology has great advantages, Dutra stresses this option is not the best for all patients and not all tumors can be removed with this approach.

For more information about minimally invasive surgery at Northwestern Memorial please visit www.nmh.org, or to schedule an appointment, please call 312-926-0779.

About Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare is the parent corporation of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital, an 854-bed academic medical center hospital and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, a 205-bed community hospital located in Lake Forest, Illinois.

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial is one of the country's premier academic medical center hospitals and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Along with its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry, the hospital comprises 854 beds, 1,603 affiliated physicians and 7,144 employees. Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing exemplary patient care and state-of-the art advancements in the areas of cardiovascular care; women's health; oncology; neurology and neurosurgery; solid organ and soft tissue transplants and orthopaedics.

Northwestern Memorial possesses nursing Magnet Status, the nation's highest recognition for patient care and nursing excellence. It is also listed in 13 clinical specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2011 "America's Best Hospitals" guide and ranks No. 1 in Chicago in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals metro area rankings. For 10 years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" guide by Working Mother magazine. The hospital is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Health Care Award and has been chosen by Chicagoans as the Consumer Choice according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey for 11 years.

Angela Salerno | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nmh.org

Further reports about: Lake Baikal robotic arm thyroid cancer thyroid gland thyroid surgery

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>