A Propensity Score-matched Comparison Study of Surgical Outcomes in Patients with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer After Robotic Versus Open Total Thyroidectomy
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The aim of this study, from a surgical, oncological, and functional perspective, was to identify whether bilateral axillo-breast approach robotic total thyroidectomy (RTT) for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) has different surgical outcomes compared to open total thyroidectomy (OTT).
Initially, 796 patients who underwent total thyroidectomy were primarily reviewed and 178 who were ineligible for analysis were excluded. Propensity score matching analysis adjusted for clinicopathological characteristics (sex, age, body mass index, extent of central node dissection, tumor size, extrathyroidal extension, and thyroiditis) was conducted, with 246 patients in the OTT group matched with 123 patients in the RTT group.
There were no significant differences in surgical outcomes in terms of surgical safety and oncological safety between the OTT and RTT groups, except in mean operation times (123.51 ± 32.63 vs. 198.39 ± 37.93 min, respectively; P < 0.001). However, the median parathyroid and laryngeal function recovery times were shorter in the RTT group than in the OTT group [88 ± 33.09 (95% CI: 23.148–152.852) vs. 100 ± 16.20 (95% CI: 68.242–131.768) days; P = 0.044 and 87 ± 32.40 (95% CI: 23.489–150.511) vs. 118 ± 49.50 (95% CI: 20.985–215.015) days; P = 0.002].
The recovery times of laryngeal and parathyroid function were significantly shorter in RTT patients than in OTT patients for DTC. To verify a definitive conclusion about the superiority of robotic total thyroidectomy in terms of parathyroid and laryngeal function recovery, further studies may be necessary.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Dr. Dong Sik Bae and Do Hoon Koo have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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