What are the surgical techniques used in a thyroidectomy?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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The technique described refers to a capsular dissection of a thyroid lobe, which can be extended to a total thyroidectomy. Prior to the advent of a capsular dissection, the literature describes the use of nodulectomies, wedge resections, and subtotal thyroidectomy to treat thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.

The literature describes a variety of techniques to perform the dissection, including sharp dissection with vessel suture ligation, electric cautery, as well as the use of electric and ultrasonic scalpels. A recent phase IV multicenter trial evaluated the use of the electric and ultrasonic scalpel use in performing thyroidectomies and found an associated lower operative time with similar postoperative complication rates and cost. [21]

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