Endoscopic thyroidectomy: retroauricular approach

Doh Young Lee, Seung-Kuk Baek, Kwang-Yoong Jung


The incidence of thyroid cancer has abruptly increased recently, with a female predominance. Conventional thyroidectomy using transcervical incision inevitably leaves an unfavorable neck scar; therefore, various extracervical approaches have been introduced to improve cosmetic satisfaction after thyroidectomy. Several reports demonstrated that these extracervical approaches have advantages not only in terms of cosmesis but also in terms of surgical outcomes and postoperative functional preservation. The retroauricular approach has advantages as the dissection area is smaller than that in the transaxillary approach (TA) and surgical anatomy is familiar to the head and neck surgeons. In addition, there is no concern about paresthesia around the nipple or anterior chest, and surgical direction makes central neck dissection easier than with the other extracervical approaches. Herein, we aim to introduce the surgical procedure of retroauricular approach thyroidectomy and present our experiences of postoperative outcomes.