Article Abstract

Cervical scar satisfaction post conventional thyroidectomy

Authors: Cherian Felix, Jonathon O. Russell, Solaiman Juman, Steve Medford


Background: Thyroidectomy is a commonly performed procedure with large centres performing thousands of thyroid surgeries per year. The traditional Kocher mid-cervical incision has been the standard approach to thyroidectomy since the late 1870s with predictable results. The introduction of minimally invasive and remote access techniques seeks to reduce the morbidity of a mid-cervical scar incision.
Methods: Ninety-five [95] patients who underwent this approach over the thirty [30] months period from January 2015 to July 2017 were administered the validated Patient Scar Assessment Questionnaire and the collected data analysed.
Results: Forty-eight [48] patients, (50.5%) met inclusion criteria and provided responses with a mean time since surgery of 18.9 months. There is a high level of satisfaction with 91.7% of patients in the study having scores consistent with scar satisfaction after conventional thyroidectomy. While patients were satisfied with the appearance of their scars, a majority of patients (n=28, 58.3%) were at least slightly conscious of their incisions, with more than 10% of patients (n=5) reporting significant levels of self-consciousness. Patients of Mixed race were found to have slightly elevated scores on PSAQ compared with IndoTrinidadian and AfroTrinidadian races (P=0.002 and P=0.006).
Conclusions: Most patients were satisfied with their scar results in the years after thyroidectomy. Despite the high level of satisfaction, a majority of patients are self-conscious about the presence of a mid-cervical incision. Further research is needed to elucidate causes and the effects of this finding.