Endoscopic surgery in the neck was attempted in 1996 for performing parathyroidectomy. A similar surgical technique was used for performing thyroidectomy the following year. Most commonly reported endoscopic neck surgery studies in literature have been on thyroid and parathyroid glands. The approaches are divided into two types i.e., the total endoscopic approach using CO(2) insufflation and the video-assisted approach without CO(2) insufflation. The latter approach has been reported more often. The surgical access (port placements) may vary-the common sites are the neck, anterior chest wall, axilla, and periareolar region. The limiting factors are the size of the gland and malignancy. Few reports are available on endoscopic resection for early thyroid malignancy and cervical lymph node dissection. Endoscopic neck surgery has primarily evolved due to its cosmetic benefits and it has proved to be safe and feasible in suitable patients with thyroid and parathyroid pathologies. Application of this technique for approaching other cervical organs such as the submandibular gland and carotid artery are still in the early experimental phase.
Keywords: Endoscopic surgery; neck surgery; parathyroid; thyroid.