The American Hospital of Paris is one of the rare establishments in France to offer a new robotic-assisted surgical technique enabling thyroid operations with no visible scar on the neck. The Hospital’s Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery Unit has already performed fifteen of these procedures.
This transaxillary procedure is performed using the da Vinci® surgical robot featuring four articulated arms. First, a 5-6 cm incision is made in the armpit, and then a retractor is placed under the skin enabling the robotic arm to be properly positioned. No incisions are made in the neck.
One of the robot’s arms is equipped with a high-resolution camera, providing the surgeon a high-definition, 3D image of the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands and, most importantly, of the recurrent nerves (which supply motor function to the vocal chords), thus helping avoid complications that can result from this type of surgery.
The three other arms feature miniaturized, multi-articulated surgical instruments affording the surgeon a much greater range of movement compared to what a human hand alone could achieve.
All unnecessary movements, including the natural trembling of the hand, are eliminated.
Thanks to the precise movements of robotic-assisted surgery, transaxillary thyroidectomies help reduce bleeding and the risk of complications while leaving no visible scar on the neck (the only scar is located under the arm).
Indications for robotic transaxillary thyroid surgery include: benign thyroid nodules measuring up to 5 cm and small cancer growths.
However, this type of surgery is not appropriate for all patients. It is contraindicated for obese patients and/or patients having undergone multiple previous surgeries, or when the nodules are too large. In addition, the surgeon cannot perform robotic surgery unless the patient has specifically requested it (generally for esthetic reasons) and been informed of all the benefits and risks of this technique.
If you would like more information about undergoing this procedure at the American Hospital of Paris, please contact us.
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The da Vinci® surgical robot has been operational at the American Hospital of Paris since September 2009. It is used in urological, digestive, gynecological and ORL surgery by expert surgeons trained and certified in minimally invasive robotic surgery.
To support the development of robotic surgery within our establishment, these surgeons have formed the Robotic Surgery Association of the Doctors of the American Hospital of Paris (in French: Association de Chirurgie Robotique des médecins de l'Hôpital Américain de Paris, or ACRAHP) whose purpose is to promote robotic surgery training and knowledge-sharing among physicians, surgeons, caregivers and engineers within the hospital.