Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 214–218 | Cite as

A Comparison of the LigaSure and Harmonic Scalpel in Thyroid Surgery: A Single Institution Review

  • Barbara Zarebczan
  • Devi Mohanty
  • Herbert Chen
Endocrine Tumors



During the last few years, many surgeons have begun to utilize the LigaSure device or Harmonic scalpel to perform thyroid surgery. Several papers have demonstrated the benefits of these devices compared with traditional hand-tying techniques. The purpose of this study was to examine our institution’s experience with the LigaSure device and Harmonic scalpel during thyroid surgery and to compare mean operative times and complications associated with each device.


A retrospective chart review was performed on all patients who underwent thyroid surgery using the LigaSure device or Harmonic scalpel at a single institution between December 2005 and August 2009. Charts were reviewed for patient demographics, mean operative time, length of stay, and complications, such as transient recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, hypocalcemia, and hematoma formation.


A total of 231 patients were included in the study, of whom 123 underwent total thyroidectomy and 108 underwent lobectomy. There was a significant decrease in the operative time for both thyroidectomies and lobectomies when the Harmonic scalpel was utilized. In regard to complications, there was no statistically significant difference in the number of transient and permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve injuries, percentage of patients developing hypocalcemia, or rate of hematoma development.


In this study, there was no difference in the rate of complications between the two devices. However, the use of the Harmonic scalpel significantly decreased operative time for both thyroidectomies and thyroid lobectomies compared with the LigaSure device.


Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Total Thyroidectomy Laparoscopic Colectomy Harmonic Scalpel Laparoscopic Splenectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was funded by a research scholarship from the American College of Surgeons and NIH T32 Training Grant-CA090217.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Endocrine Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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