Thyroid is the largest endocrine gland in the body. Its function is to produce thyroid hormones that control metabolism, body temperature, growth, and development of your brain. When abnormalities arise such as a lump or when an enlarged thyroid gland compresses the esophagus or windpipe, the risk of cancer develops. To treat the condition, the doctor may consider a surgical method.
Dr. Veerayuht Uaviseswong, general surgeon at Vejthani Hospital explains that traditionally, thyroidectomy leaves a large and noticeable scar around the neck. This impacts the patients’ confidence in their body image following the surgery. The advancements of technology have invented a new surgical technique that leaves no scar on the operation site known as Scarless Thyroidectomy. This aims to enhance the quality of life after the surgery, as no visible scar is left to affect the patient’s self-esteem.
Thyroidectomy has two different approaches:
- Conventional surgery. This approach is performed by a horizontal incision across the center of the neck to split the layers of muscles. This will allow a complete vision of abnormal conditions and enable the entire enlarged thyroid gland to be removed. However, patients are left with a noticeable large scar on the neck after the surgery.
- Scarless Thyroidectomy. This technique was developed from Minimal Invasive Surgery. Another approach is known as Natural Orifices Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery. This procedure started with an endoscopic surgery around the underarms area that used to leave a small scar. Until present-day, technology has been further developed for the operation to carry out from the oral cavity with the help of an endoscope. This method does not leave an external scar after the surgery is done.
Benefits of Scarless Thyroidectomy:
- No visible scar on the neck.
- 4k images for endoscopic procedures which enhance the visibility of the important organs during operation.
- Leaves a small incision and causes less injury during the surgical procedure, which results in faster recovery.
However, before undergoing Scarless Thyroidectomy, the function of Thyroid hormone in the body has to be controlled to a normal level. Like most surgical procedures, refraining from eating and drinking at least 6-8 hours prior is required. The patient will be under general anesthesia with intubation during the operation.
Thyroid gland is one of the essential organs in our body. If an abnormality occurs in the gland, almost every part of the body will be affected. In case a palpable lump is found in the neck, the patient should not delay in receiving a proper diagnosis from both endocrinologist and surgeon. The surgical technique and medical equipment have been extensively developed these days, making Thyroidectomy no longer a distressing procedure.
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