An Endoscopic, Minimal Scarring Method Developed
A new endoscopic technique is developed to remove the endocrine glands. This technique allows surgeons to access and remove the thyroid and parathyroid glands via small incisions on the inside of the mouth. It provides successful results and leaves no visible scars on the neck.
Why Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands Need to Be Removed?
The thyroid glands release hormones to control metabolism. Behind or next to the thyroid glands are the parathyroid glands, which control calcium levels in the bones and blood. These glands need to be removed if:
- They become overactive
- Benign nodule or cancer is found
Why Is Transoral Endocrine Surgery Better Than Traditional Approaches and Other Scarless Procedures?
In traditional endocrine surgery, doctors remove the parathyroid and thyroid glands through a small horizontal incision in the center of the neck. It provides successful results but leaves scars on the neck. The scar size varies depending on the size of the gland that needs to be removed. However, the average scar size is 4 to 6 centimeters long.
The transoral endocrine surgery also applies the same endoscopic or laparoscopic techniques that are used to remove the appendix, colon, or gallbladder. Benign nodules under 6 centimeters and cancers less than 2 centimeters can be removed using this transoral procedure. General anesthesia is used in this procedure.
During this procedure, your surgeon will make three small incisions on the inside of the lower lip. Through these incisions, they will place the endoscopic instruments between the skin and the jaw to open up the working space required to remove the gland. The distance from the incision site to the working space is short so your surgeon can access it easily. Patients can go home the next day.
Other Scarless Procedures
Several other scarless procedures have been developed to get rid of the incision on the neck or reduce its size. During those procedures, your doctor will make incisions through the hairline in the back of the neck, armpit, and nipples. These procedures still leave scars, but not on the neck. Also, the incisions are made far from the target anatomy. Larger dissections can lead to increased complications, pain, and recovery time.
The transoral endocrine technique is the only procedure that leaves no visible scars. Also, the incisions on the inside of the lip are minimally painful as they are made much closer to the target anatomy. Your surgeon will prescribe pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications.
Transoral Endocrine Surgery – Aftercare
These aftercare tips will help you recover soon from the surgery:
- Do not drive while you are on pain medication or have a stiff neck
- Follow a liquid diet for the first day after surgery and then switch to soft foods for the following 2 days
- You can return to work after a week
- You may experience numbness of the upper neck, lower lip, and chin, which will go away on its own within a few days
- Take medications as prescribed by your surgeon
Risks of the Transoral Endocrine Surgery
One in 1500 patients may experience risks such as injury to the parathyroid glands and recurrent laryngeal nerve numbness of the chin or lip. The complication rates of this procedure are comparable to the traditional endocrine surgery.
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