Focus of the Report: This report focuses on minimally invasive techniques for thyroidectomy.

Technology Description: For minimally invasive thyroid surgery, patients are placed under general anesthesia and the procedure is performed through small incisions in the neck, breast, armpits, or oral cavity. Compared with conventional open thyroidectomy (OT), minimally invasive approaches are performed through smaller incisions, which can reduce scarring, surgical trauma, and postoperative pain. Robotic procedures are beyond the scope of this report.

Controversy: Using a minimally invasive approach to thyroidectomy can make the procedure much more complicated, increasing operating time and the risk of complications.

Key Questions:

  • Compared with OT, does minimally invasive thyroidectomy reduce surgical trauma, pain, and scarring?

  • Does minimally invasive thyroidectomy improve health outcomes of thyroid disease, including cancer, compared with OT?

  • Is minimally invasive thyroidectomy safer than OT?

  • Do efficacy or safety outcomes vary between the types of minimally invasive approaches to thyroidectomy?

  • Have definitive patient selection criteria for minimally invasive thyroidectomy been established?

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