Transoral robotic thyroidectomy versus conventional open thyroidectomy: comparative analysis of surgical outcomes using propensity score matching

  • Ji Young You
  • Hoon Yub KimEmail author
  • Da Won Park
  • Hsien Wen Yang
  • Hong Kyu Kim
  • Gianlorenzo Dionigi
  • Ralph P. Tufano



Various approaches for thyroid surgery became possible with the use of robotic systems. Transoral robotic thyroidectomy (TORT) is one of the newest approaches and draws attention because of its cosmetic excellence. In this study, we compared the surgical outcomes of TORT and conventional open thyroidectomy (OT).


We retrospectively reviewed and compared the medical records of consecutive patients who underwent TORT or OT for thyroid carcinoma from March 2009 to January 2018. Propensity score matching using 10 clinico-pathologic factors was used to generate two matched cohorts, each composed of 186 patients.


The study included 372 patients who underwent TORT (n = 186) or OT (n = 186). Mean age, tumor size, and gender were not different between both groups. The two groups showed similar surgical outcomes, except for a longer operative time for TORT. There was one patient with immediate postoperative bleeding in the TORT group. The patient underwent re-operation for hemostasis with endoscopic approach. In the OT group, one patient had wound seroma, which was treated by several rounds of needle aspiration without infection. Vocal cord palsy was present in one patient in the TORT group, which was recovered in 3 months.


TORT could be performed safely and had comparable surgical outcomes with OT in the selected patients. TORT may be a suitable operative alternative for patients who do not want to leave scars on the neck.


Propensity score matching Robotic thyroidectomy Transoral thyroidectomy Open thyroidectomy Thyroid carcinoma 



This work was supported by Korea University Grants (K1816421, K1813081).

Compliance with ethical standards


Ji Young You, HoonYub Kim, Da Won Park, Hsien Wen Yang, Hong Kyu Kim, Gianlorenzo Dionigi, and Ralph P. Tufano, nor their close family members, have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji Young You
    • 1
  • Hoon Yub Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Da Won Park
    • 1
  • Hsien Wen Yang
    • 1
  • Hong Kyu Kim
    • 2
  • Gianlorenzo Dionigi
    • 3
  • Ralph P. Tufano
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, KUMC Thyroid Center, Korea University HospitalKorea University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of SurgerySeoul National University HospitalSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Division for Endocrine and Minimal Invasive Surgery, Department of Human Pathology in Adulthood and Childhood “G.Barresi’University Hospital “G.Martino”, University of MessinaMessinaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck SurgeryThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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