Transoral robotic-assisted thyroidectomy: a preclinical feasibility study in 2 cadavers

Head Neck. 2011 Mar;33(3):330-3. doi: 10.1002/hed.21454.


Background: Technological advances in thyroid surgery have included various "minimally invasive" thyroidectomy techniques, both open and endoscopic. These include not only minimally invasive video-associated approaches but also variations of the transaxillary approach. More recently, a transoral technique using video assistance has been reported for thyroidectomy. Use of the robot was also recently published in a transaxillary approach to the thyroid. We hypothesized that the robot in combination with the previously described transoral technique would facilitate this novel surgical approach.

Methods: In 2 human cadavers the da Vinci robot was used to perform a transoral thyroidectomy. The dissection was performed with successful removal of the thyroid gland through the floor of the mouth.

Results: A total thyroidectomy was performed in 2 cadavers using the da Vinci robot transoral technique. The recurrent laryngeal nerve was preserved.

Conclusions: Transoral robotic-assisted thyroidectomy (TRAT) provides an attractive approach to the central compartment for thyroidectomy in a field of "minimally invasive" and "scarless" techniques.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Mouth
  • Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery / methods*
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Thyroidectomy / instrumentation
  • Thyroidectomy / methods*