The transoral endoscopic approach for thyroid surgery was based on a previous attempt to reach the thyroid gland by an axilloscope. In contrast to this single-port access, endoscopic minimally invasive thyroidectomy (eMIT) uses three access points (sublingual and bivestibular). This results in a sufficient triangulation of instruments, making surgical procedures in the anterior neck region possible.
The idea and development of the eMIT technique are described in detail. Anatomic studies, the development of the surgical access in a cadaver study, and the animal study for safety and feasibility of this transoral endoscopic approach for surgery of the anterior neck are outlined. Also, the foundations and ethical aspects are addressed in the context of developing a surgical innovation, which resulted in the first clinical application of this technique in humans.
The preclinical studies regarding endoscopic minimally invasive thyroidectomy proofed feasibility in a human cadaver studies as well as safety in a short-time survival animal study. The first clinical application in a 53-year old patient was successful without any significant complications; expected benefits (no postoperative pain or dysphagia, no visible scar) could be demonstrated.
The eMIT technique represents a promising new surgical approach for endoscopic surgery in the anterior neck region. The whole development was based on principles for surgical innovation published after the authors’ preclinical studies. At this writing, after an initial clinical study with humans, the time has come to compare this new technique with other endoscopic and minimally invasive approaches in a prospective randomized multicenter trial.
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Thomas Wilhelm and Andreas Metzig have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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Wilhelm, T., Metzig, A. Endoscopic minimally invasive thyroidectomy (eMIT): some clarifications regarding the idea, development, preclinical studies, and application in humans. Surg Endosc (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-010-1312-7
- Minimally invasive
- Preclinical studies