New Technique for Thyroid Removal Shows Promise

Inserting endoscope through armpit leaves less scarring, study finds

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FRIDAY, Aug. 20, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Inserting an endoscope through the armpit may be the best approach to surgically removing a diseased thyroid gland, says a Medical College of Georgia study in the August issue of Laryngoscope.

The current standard approach is to access the thyroid through a seven-inch incision near the base of the neck, which leaves an obvious scar. While accessing the thyroid through the armpit may take longer, it leaves an inconspicuous scar and has other advantages, the researchers noted in a prepared statement.

They used pigs to test five different minimally invasive approaches, which have already been clinically tested in other countries for removal of thyroids with cancer or benign growths.

"Endoscopic thyroidectomy has been introduced as an alternative to open surgery because it is minimally invasive, provides superior visualization, and results in reduced scars," the study authors said.

More information

The National Women's Health Information Center has this on thyroid disorders.

SOURCE: Medical College of Georgia, news release, August 2004

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