Purpose: Cosmetic advantages and minimally invasive aspects become more and more important for patients undergoing thyroidectomy. We report on our personal experience and conceptual design in dealing with approaches to the thyroid gland, which we were the first to describe. We report on ideas and experiences concerning its implementation.
Methods: Our own experiences and considerations in the process of finding an endoscopic minimally invasive access in thyroidectomy are compared in a systematic review with the available literature on minimally invasive or endoscopic thyroid surgery. We describe our failures and risk assessment.
Results: Our analysis of the literature on minimally invasive thyroidectomy and our own experiences lead us to the conclusion that using different hybrid technologies during the implementation of endoscopic procedures in thyroid surgery can be helpful and could improve patients' safety. A combination of transoral endoscopic and non-transoral techniques might be a useful safer, but more traumatizing alternative for implementation. Several studies show the feasibility of the transoral access in thyroid surgery. We believe that the implementation of these new procedures as routine surgery in specialized centers must be carefully considered and discussed.
Conclusions: The transoral access seems to be less invasive than other extracollar endoscopic accesses in thyroid surgery. For a sublingual single-access routine surgery, better instruments are needed. The vestibular access is possible with standard instruments. Using hybrid technologies for implementation should not be considered as a failure. The transoral thyroidectomy can be a safe method in the hand of experienced surgeons. We expect this hybrid technique to play a major part in further spreading endoscopic transoral thyroid surgery.
Keywords: CEViTS; Hybrid techniques; Sublingual access; Thyroidectomy; Transoral; Vestibular access.