The first application in the head and neck for da Vinci® robotic thyroid surgery was in the thyroid gland. Thyroid surgery has long been performed through a 6-8 cm neck incision just above the collar bone. Despite refinements in traditional surgical techniques, many patients remain dissatisfied with any neck scar and dislike the numbness that can accompany this incision.
These problems are eliminated with the use of the da Vinci® Robotic thyroid Surgery system, which allows the surgeon to remove the portion of the thyroid without any neck incisions. The surgery is done through a single incision at the armpit, which is hidden by the arm in the resting position. In addition, it appears that this cosmetically pleasing surgical option may also result in a lower incidence of nerve injury to the voice box and fewer calcium problems, compared to traditional thyroidectomy surgery.
Dr. Krowiak and Dr. Huntley were among the first 25 surgeons in the United States to be trained in da Vinci® robotic thyroid surgery and offer it to select patients with thyroid tumors. They are accepting patients from around the United States, are actively involved in robotic thyroid clinical research and education, and are in demand as proctors to the other surgeons around the country in this exciting new option where patients in thyroid disease.