Safety of robotic thyroidectomy approaches: Meta-analysis and systematic review

Nicole R. Jackson, Lu Yao, Ralph P. Tufano, Emad H. Kandil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Background This study compared the efficacy of robotic thyroidectomy via a gasless, axillary approach with conventional cervical and endoscopic techniques by meta-analysis. Methods Articles were identified from the following keyword searches: robotic/robot-assisted thyroidectomy/thyroid surgery. Outcomes included operative time, hospital stay, complications, and cosmetic satisfaction after surgery. Between-group outcome differences were calculated using random-effects models. Results In all, 87 publications were identified and 9 studies met inclusion criteria, totaling 2881 patients, 1122 of whom underwent robotic thyroidectomy. Those who underwent robotic surgery reported greater cosmetic satisfaction, with a pooled net mean difference of -1.35 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -1.69, -1.09). Robotic approach operative time was longer than that of the conventional approach (95% CI: 29.23, 54.87), with a trend to be shorter than the endoscopic approaches. Robotic surgery had similar risks to open and endoscopic approaches. Conclusions Our meta-analysis suggests that robotic thyroidectomy is as safe, feasible, and efficacious as conventional cervical and endoscopic thyroidectomy, showing superior cosmetic satisfaction than that of conventional thyroidectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • meta-analysis
  • minimally invasive
  • robotic
  • thyroidectomy
  • transaxillary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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