Transoral Vestibular Thyroidectomy: Current State of Affairs and Considerations for the Future

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Mar 12;104(9):3779-3784. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-00116. Online ahead of print.


Context: The transoral endoscopic thyroidectomy vestibular approach (TOETVA) is a recently described procedure for surgical management of select thyroid pathology without the need for a cutaneous scar. TOETVA is far from the first described remote-access approach to the thyroid. In fact, numerous such techniques have been described over the past 20 years, although none have gained wide-spread implementation in North America or Europe. TOETVA, with its rapid growth worldwide and excellent outcomes to date, however, may succeed where these prior described techniques have failed.

Evidence acquisition: The English literature was reviewed using the following keywords: transoral thyroidectomy, remote-access thyroidectomy, minimally-invasive thyroidectomy, and TOETVA. As three recent systematic reviews have been performed in regards to the technique, this manuscript does not seek to provide a fourth such text. Rather, here we summarize salient findings from these reviews and focus on candidates for the procedure, technique-specific characteristics which have led to TOETVA's early success, and prospects for the future.

Evidence synthesis: TOETVA is the only thyroidectomy approach obviating the need for a cutaneous incision, and offers several advantages over prior described remote-access thyroidectomy techniques. These include a favorable anatomic surgical perspective, a comparatively short learning curve, no requirement for expensive instrumentation, and a broad inclusion criterion. These characteristics have facilitated the excellent surgical outcomes to date.

Conclusions: TOETVA is a suitable surgical option for a carefully selected patient population with proven safety and feasibility. The potential value of the procedure outside enhanced cosmesis continues to be defined.