HYGEIA S.Α.: The first in Greece and in Europe, Robotic Thyroidectomy with the da Vinci ® S System

Interview with Dr. Michal Mekel, the endocrine fellow from MGH who completes a one-month surgical rotation in Endocrine Surgery at Hygeia Hospital next to Prof Linos
10 August 2009
Dr. Linos guest speaker for the Surgical Treatment of Obesity at the 10th Panhellenic Conference on Nutrition-Dietetics
17 November 2009

Thyroid excision with no neck incision!

HYGEIA Hospital is becoming a Reference Center in Greece and in Europe for robotic thyroidectomy, after successfully performing the first surgical thyroid excisions with no neck incision, using the Surgical Robotic System da Vinci ® S.

Specifically, a 25-year old patient underwent thyroidectomy using the technique which accesses the thyroid gland via the armpit.

This specialized technique, during which there are no unsightly scars left on the patient’s neck, was performed for the first time in Greece and in Europe by the Director of the Α’ Surgical Clinic of HYGEIA, Prof. Dimitris Linos, in collaboration with the Korean Prof. W.Y. Chung, who was the first to carry out the Robotic Thyroidectomy technique using the method of accessing the thyroid gland via the armpit, in Korea, in July 2007. Up to now, Prof. Chung has performed more than 200 robotic thyroidectomies with success rates relevant to those of the open classical technique. (There is a relevant report in the Medical Press.)

During the Press Conference that was held on Thursday 3rd of September 2009 at HYGEIA, the Director of the Α΄ Surgical Clinic, Prof. Dimitris Linos stressed: «This effort opens new horizons in the surgical therapy of the thyroid gland especially in patients that have a tendency in the development of keloid or hyperplastic scars. There are clear indications for this method, but also a few contra-indications that should, in every case, also be evaluated. »

The General Director of HYGEIA, Mr. Andreas Kartapanis, from his part stated that: « This pioneering, for Greek and European standards, surgical robotic thyroidectomy,, that was carried out in our Hospital, proves once more that HYGEIA leads medical advancements, as it successfully combines its experienced and specialized medical personnel with the advances in technology».

This technique is mainly applied in cases of small sized tumours of the thyroid gland as well as in suspicious for malignancy nodes in the thyroid gland. It initially involves the creation of a 5-7 cm incision in the armpit that is progressively extended creating a «tunnel» up to the neck and the thyroid. The three functional ends of the Da Vinci robot are placed in this tunnel, while the fourth is placed via a small 0.8cm incision in the anterior thoracic wall in between the nipples. By accessing the gland in this way the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the parathyroid glands are very clearly identified due to the magnifying ability of the Da Vinci machine.

Advantages of this method include, precision of movements, better visual coverage, almost non-existing blood loss, reduction of complications (according to each case) due to injuries of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the parathyroid glands and of course the absolute absence of neck scars.

Tomorrow, on Friday 4th of September, Prof. D. Linos will perform live robotic thyroidectomies at HYGEIA in collaboration with Prof. W.Y. Chung, in the presence of more than 30 European Surgeons specialized in endocrine glands.

For more information: www.healthview.gr, www.medvoi365.gr, www.nextdeal.gr/press_item.php, news.ert.gr/el/26370-protia-tis-elladas-stin-rompotiki-xeirourgiki.htm