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J Korean Soc Endosc Laparosc Surg. 2010 Dec;13(2):129-133. Korean. Original Article.
Jo JE , Nam YH , Lee SH , Lee JH , Baek JM , Lee DS , Park IY , Sung KY .
Department of Surgery, Bucheon ST Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, Korea.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and surgical outcomes of endoscopic thyroidectomy by the axillary approach for treating papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC). METHODS: We analyzed 56 patients who underwent endoscopic thyroidectomy by the axillary approach for treating PTMC between May 2002 and October 2008 at Bucheon ST hospital. We evaluated the operation type, the tumor size, the operative time, the hospital days, the number of retrieved lymph nodes and the complications. RESULTS: All the patients except one were women. The mean age was 40.5+/-8.7 years. All the procedure was performed by one surgeon and endoscopic thyroidectomy was done by the axillary approach. There was no conversion to open surgery. The type of operation was classified according to the extent of the surgery. The mean operative time for lobectomy and isthmectomy with CLND (24 cases) and total thyroidectomy with CLND (5 cases) was 142.5+/-40 minutes and 270+/-84.3 minutes, respectively. The mean tumor size was 0.66+/-0.46 cm. The mean number of retrieved lymph nodes was 3.7+/-2.4. The mean number of hospital days was 3.7+/-1.4 days. There were no serious complications. There were no tumor recurrence and the mean follow-up was 50.7 months. All the patients were satisfied with the cosmetic results. CONCLUSION: Endoscopic thyroidectomy by the axillary approach for PTMC is feasible and safe. Although a larger series and longer follow up are necessary, endoscopic thyroidectomy can be a alternative treatment method for selected patients with PTMC.

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