Minimally invasive thyroid surgery in children

Melanie W. Seybt, David J. Terris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: As the prevalence of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer increases, thyroid surgery is being performed in a growing number of pediatric patients. Minimally invasive thyroid surgery may be particularly beneficial in this patient population. Smaller incisions result in improved cosmesis in this young, predominantly female group, and minimalaccess techniques better preserve tissue planes - an advantage, because of younger patients' higher lifetime likelihood of reoperation. Methods: For this case series with planned data collection, Institutional Review Board approval was obtained to analyze a prospective database and assess outcome data. The outcome measures included pathologic classification, cosmetic results, rates of complications (especially hypocalcemia), true vocal fold paralysis, and the need for admission or readmission. Results: We performed 495 thyroidectomy procedures during the study period (February 2003 to May 2008). Of these, 23 were in patients less than 21 years of age. The mean incision length was 3.3 ± 1.0 cm (range, 1.5 to 5.0 cm), and 12 of the incisions (52.2%) were 3 cm or shorter. Nine patients (41%) had thyroid cancer, most commonly papillary carcinoma (compared with 21.9% of the adult population). There were no hematomas and no cases of permanent true vocal fold paralysis or permanent hypocalcemia. Two patients (8.7%) had temporary hypocalcemia, and both required readmission. Conclusions: Minimally invasive thyroid surgery has benefits over conventional thyroid surgery, particularly in a pediatric population. Among its many potential advantages, the social stigma of a large incision is reduced and preservation of tissue planes is improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Cosmesis
  • Endoscopy
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Scar
  • Thyroid gland
  • Thyroidectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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