Endoscopic Thyroid Surgeries via Areola Approach: Experience and Outcomes of 500 Cases in a Single Institute

  • Rui Qu
  • Youming Guo
  • Xiaochi Hu
  • Libo Luo
  • Daosheng LiuEmail author
Original Article


With the growing popularity of endoscopic thyroid surgery for treatment of thyroid diseases, this study aimed to summarize our experience of endoscopic thyroidectomy (ETE), and evaluate the feasibility and safety of ETE, in our institute. Five hundred patients underwent ETE via the areola approach. The learning curve, clinicopathologic characteristics, cosmetic satisfaction, complications, and so on were analyzed. Among the 500 cases, 497 were successfully managed with ETE, and 3 were converted to open procedure. The score of cosmetic satisfaction, average operation time, tumor diameter, mean total intra-operative blood loss, hospital stay, drainage time, and age were 9.4 ± 0.5, 142 ± 20 min, 2.6 ± 1.2 cm, 34 ± 12 ml, 11.4 ± 3.6 days, 3.3 ± 0.7 days, and 44.2 ± 11.9 years, respectively. Pathological types of the tumor included papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC; n = 87), nodular goiters (n = 283), follicular adenoma (n = 84), and others (n = 46). The complications included transient recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) palsy (n = 15, 3.0%), transient superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) palsy (n = 3, 0.6%), transient hypoparathyroidism (n = 32, 6.4%), tracheal injury (n = 1, 0.2%), swallowing discomfort (n = 20, 4.0%), infection (n = 7, 1.4%), and others (n = 15, 3.0%). No patients experienced permanent RLN injury or SLN injury, asphyxia/dyspnea, esophagus injury, bleeding, chylous fistula, or death. Among the cases of PTC, 76 (87.4%) cases underwent the central lymph node dissection. The mean number of retrieved lymph nodes was 6.4 ± 2.1, while the mean number of metastatic central lymph nodes was 1.2 ± 2.3. The ratios of capsule invasion, central lymph node metastasis, and extrathyroidal extension were 10.3, 26.4, and 3.4%. ETE via areola approach is safe, feasible, and cosmetic, with good operative results and low complication rates. It provides an effective choice for treating patients.


Endoscopic surgery Thyroidectomy Papillary thyroid cancer Areola approach 



This work was funded by the Major Project from Technology and Science Bureau of Zunyi City, China (NO. 2014-25).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Surgeons of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Qu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Youming Guo
    • 2
  • Xiaochi Hu
    • 2
  • Libo Luo
    • 2
  • Daosheng Liu
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryFirst Affiliated Hospital of Jinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Thyroid SurgeryFirst People’s Hospital of Zunyi CityZunyiChina

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