A thyroidectomy involves the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. Surgeons often perform a thyroidectomy when a patient has thyroid cancer or another condition of the thyroid gland (such as hyperthyroidism). Other indications for surgery include cosmetic (very enlarged thyroid), or symptomatic obstruction (causing difficulties in swallowing or breathing).

If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your thyroid conditions, you may be a candidate for a distant access robotic procedure. With the da Vinci robotic system, Dr Niles will make a small incision in a remote location such as the armpit with NO neck incision, further improving cosmetic outcomes.


Surgery's past, present and robotic future

Surgeon and inventor Catherine Mohr tours the history of surgery (and its pre-painkiller, pre-antiseptic past), then demos some of the newest tools for surgery through tiny incisions, performed using nimble robot hands. Fascinating – but not for the squeamish.


The da Vinci Surgical System

The da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic surgical system made by the American company Intuitive Surgical. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, it is designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach, and is controlled by a surgeon from a console.

The system is commonly used for prostatectomies, and increasingly for cardiac valve repair and gynecologic surgical procedures. According to the manufacturer, the da Vinci System is called "da Vinci" in part because Leonardo da Vinci's "study of human anatomy eventually led to the design of the first known robot in history.


Practical Demonstration 

Professor Woong You Chung from the Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul Korea guides us through a quick overview of a procedure performed with Robot-assisted surgery.