Background: Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT) proved to be safe and effective in the treatment of both benign diseases and malignancies. We report our experience in thyroid surgery in pediatric patients.
Methods: From October 1998 to December 2005, 35 patients (27 females and 8 males) underwent MIVAT for thyroid disease. The mean age was 14.0 years (range, 8-18 years); mean ecographically estimated thyroid volume was 11.13 mL (range, 8-25 mL).
Results: A total thyroidectomy was performed in 22 patients, whereas lobectomy was performed in 13. Two patients of the latter group had a second lobectomy for a false-negative result at frozen section during the first operation. One patient underwent also a prophylactic central neck dissection for positive RET oncogene. The histologic examination found a papillary carcinoma in 11 patients, a microfollicular nodule in 7 patients, and multinodular goiter in 17 patients. The mean operative time was 54.1 minutes for thyroidectomy (range, 25-110 minutes) and 38.5 minutes for lobectomy (range, 20-65 minutes). All patients but one was discharged on the first postoperative day. One transient hypoparathyroidism was observed in the patient who underwent total thyroidectomy plus central neck lymphadenectomy.
Conclusions: The MIVAT technique proved to be as safe and effective as conventional thyroidectomy with Kocher approach to treat patients with both benign and malignant diseases of the thyroid gland. The advantages of MIVAT are represented by a better and faster postoperative course and an improved aesthetic result, which is particularly important in this group of patients.