Energy-based devices in thyroid surgery—an overview

Sohail Bakkar, Theodosios S. Papavramidis, Qusai Aljarrah, Gabriele Materazzi, Paolo Miccoli


In the mid-20th century Theodor Kocher standardized the conventional clamp-and-tie thyroidectomy, and a procedure that was banned or prohibited for so long was labeled as “extremely safe and efficient”. Ever since, innovations and refinements in the field of thyroid surgery have focused on improving patient clinical outcome profiles, and offering patients procedures that are tailored to their concerns and desires without compromising the concepts of safety and efficacy. This led to a paradigm shift in thyroid surgery and the introduction of minimal access thyroid procedures. Unsurprisingly, this paralleled the constant technological evolution in surgical devices. Advanced energy-based devices were introduced into thyroid surgery more than a decade ago. Initially, their introduction was surrounded by sckepticism, and was considered a double-edged sword equally giving accolade and criticism. Ultimately, they have proved to be very useful in thyroid surgery, and pivotal to its evolution. In experienced hands, thyroid surgery performed using an advanced energy-based device is considered ‘at least’ as safe and effective as its conventional clamp-and-tie counterpart. Furthermore, it offers additional advantages that meet the best interest of the patient, surgeon, health care facility, and the society. This article provides an overview on the introduction of innovative technology into thyroid surgery.