Endoscopic thyroidectomy: the transoral approach

Kai Witzel, Achim Hellinger, Cornelia Kaminski, Tahar Benhidjeb


Transoral endoscopic thyroid surgery seems to be the logical consequence in the evolution of thyroid surgery. Animal and cadaver studies have shown that different endoscopic techniques can be performed in a safe and successful way. Presently, the minimally invasive aspect and cosmetic advantage seem to be the most important factor for the patients. However, even if these procedures are feasible in patients, the transoral access must still be considered as experimental. In this study then we aim at comparing the available literature on transoral thyroid surgery with our own experience in this field. The access itself needs to be further refined, and even more suitable and better adapted instruments need to be developed so that optimal and safe results that meet all requirements on endocrine surgery can be achieved and all requirements for endocrine surgery are met. The transoral thyroidectomy should only be performed in highly specialized centres for endocrine and endoscopic surgery. As an alternative, a combination with endoscopic non-transoral techniques—so called hybrid techniques—might be useful for our patients.