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The minimally invasive open video-assisted approach in surgical thyroid diseases

Massimo Ruggieri1*, Andrea Straniero1, Alessandra Mascaro1, Mariapia Genderini2, Massimino D'Armiento2, Patrizia Gargiulo3, Angela Fumarola2 and Pierpaolo Trimboli2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgical Sciences and Applied Medical Technologies "Francesco Durante", University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy

2 Department of Experimental Medicine and Pathology, Chair of Endocrinology, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy

3 Department of Medicine, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy

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BMC Surgery 2005, 5:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-5-9

Published: 27 April 2005



The targets of minimally invasive surgery (MIVA) could be summarised by: achievement of the same results as those obtained with traditional surgery, less trauma, better post-operative course, early discharge from hospital and improved cosmetic results. The minimally invasive techniques in thyroid surgery can be described as either endoscopic "pure" approach (completely closed approach with or without CO2 insufflation), or "open approach" with central neck mini-incision or "open video-assisted approach". Traditionally, open thyroidectomy requires a 6 to 8 cm, or bigger, transverse wound on the lower neck. The minimally invasive approach wound is much shorter (1.5 cm for small nodules, up to 2–3 cm for the largest ones, in respect of the exclusion criteria) upon the suprasternal notch.

Patients also experience much less pain after MIVA surgery than after conventional thyroidectomy. This is due to less dissection and destruction of tissues.

Pathologies treated are mainly nodular goiter; the only kind of thyroid cancer which may be approached with endoscopic surgery is a small differentiated carcinoma without lymph node involvement.

The patients were considered eligible for MIVA hemithyroidectomy and thyroidectomy on the basis of some criteria, such as gland volume and the kind of disease. In our experience we have chosen the minimally invasive open video-assisted approach of Miccoli et al. (2002). The aim of this work was to verify the suitability of the technique and the applicability in clinical practice.


A completely gasless procedure was carried out through a 15–30 mm central incision about 20 mm above the sternal notch. Dissection was mainly performed under endoscopic vision using conventional endoscopic instruments. The video aided group included 11 patients. All patients were women with a average age of 54.


We performed thyroidectomy in 8 cases and hemithyroidectomy in 3 cases. The operative average time has been 170 minutes.


Nowadays this minimally invasive surgery, in selected patients, clearly demonstrates excellent results regarding patient cure rate and comfort, with shorter hospital stay, reduced postoperative pain and most attractive cosmetic results.

minimally invasive thyroidectomy; MIVA; video-assisted surgery