Conventional operations for thyroidectomy adopted trans-cervical scar which was disfiguring and caused postoperative morbidities. Different techniques of scarless thyroidectomies have been described by various authors.1-2
The advent of surgical robots has provided a newer approach to performing minimally invasive head & neck surgeries.2-4
We define a new technique of performing robotic thyroidectomy called robotic assisted breast-axillo insufflation thyroidectomy (RABIT). RABIT involves the use of the da Vinci robotic system with CO2 gas insufflation & using 5 ports. We use single docking to approach both the lobes and lymph nodes dissection when needed.
We have performed 12 cases RABIT till date with excellent cosmetic results and minimal visible or hidden scar in the axilla. Our mean duration of surgery was 118 min, docking time was 38 min & mean blood loss was 22ml. The oncological outcomes in the postoperative radioiodine scan has been acceptable. The cosmetic results were excellent along with better surgeon comfort and vision quality.
RABIT is a safe and effective technique for patients desiring scar free thyroidectomy. The surgeons have an advantage of better vision and single docking for total thyroidectomy.