Research shows that Robotic Surgery for Thyroid Cancer Treatment may even be better than open surgery

Follow Us :


The landscape of thyroid cancer treatment has been significantly reshaped by the advent of remote-access thyroidectomy techniques. These innovative methods, including robotic and endoscopic approaches, promise not only aesthetic benefits but also compelling post-operative outcomes.

A recent systematic review and network meta-analysis, published in Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery (2024), provides a comprehensive comparison of the cancer outcomes and surgical completeness of remote-access thyroidectomies of robotic and endoscoscopic thyroidectomy. These methods were assessed against conventional open thyroidectomy.

The research included a broad spectrum of literature, encompassing 48 studies and a total of 16,356 patients, spanning from 2000 to 2023. The team focused on recurrence rates and surgical completeness, evaluating outcomes such as the number of lymph nodes retrieved and stimulated serum thyroglobulin levels.

The findings of this comprehensive research were insightful. The most commonly performed BABA technique which is similar to RABIT demonstrated surgical completeness equivalent to open thyroidectomy.

 Furthermore, the cancer related  outcomes, based on recurrence rates, were found to be comparable with open thyroidectomy. These findings suggest that these remote-access techniques can provide safe and effective alternatives to traditional open surgery.

 In the midst of these advancements, the RABIT technique, a novel robotic surgical method innovatively developed by Dr. Sandeep Nayak, has emerged as a game changer. The RABIT (Robotic Assisted Bilateral Axillo-Breast Approach) technique is a minimally invasive procedure that has significantly transformed the surgical landscape of thyroid cancer treatment.

 "I’m not surprised by the results of this study. My experience with RABIT technique outcomes have been excellent. The RABIT technique combines the best of both worlds," says Dr. Sandeep Nayak, a surgical oncologist in Bangalore. "It offers the precision and reduced invasiveness of robotic surgery with the comprehensive access provided by the bilateral axillo-breast approach. This ensures that patients not only receive effective cancer treatment but also enjoy improved cosmetic outcomes."

 The RABIT technique offers numerous advantages including smaller incisions, reduced pain, minimal scarring, and shorter hospital stays, along with expedited recovery times. Importantly, it ensures a comprehensive view of the surgical field, facilitating complete removal of the tumor and thus reducing the risk of recurrence.

 Moreover, the RABIT technique's enhanced precision and control over surgical instruments allow for meticulous dissection, and nerve preservation, crucial in thyroid surgeries. This precision translates to better functional outcomes, such as preserved voice quality and reduced incidence of hypocalcemia, a common complication in thyroidectomy due to inadvertent damage to the parathyroid glands.

 "As a surgeon, my primary goal is to ensure complete removal of the cancer while preserving the patient's quality of life," Dr. Nayak explains. "With the RABIT technique, we achieve a higher level of precision, which significantly contributes to better patient outcomes."

 As thyroid cancer incidence continues to rise globally, the necessity for advanced, patient-friendly surgical techniques becomes increasingly urgent. The traditional open thyroidectomy, while effective, often leaves noticeable scars on the neck, which can impact the patient's quality of life and psychological well-being.

Remote-access techniques, particularly those that avoid visible scarring, represent a significant improvement in patient care, addressing both physical and emotional recovery aspects.

 The systematic review also highlighted patient satisfaction as a critical metric of success. Patients who underwent remote-access thyroidectomy reported higher satisfaction levels, attributing their positive experiences to the cosmetic outcomes and reduced post-operative discomfort. These subjective outcomes, combined with the objective clinical measures, underscore the holistic benefits of remote-access techniques in thyroid cancer treatment.

 "Patients today are looking for treatment options that not only cure their cancer but also allow them to maintain their quality of life," says Dr. Nayak. "The positive feedback from patients who have undergone the RABIT procedure is a testament to the advantages of minimally invasive surgery."

 Dr. Sandeep Nayak's contribution through the RABIT technique not only showcases the potential of robotic surgery in thyroid oncology but also paves the way for future innovations.

 The ongoing development and refinement of these techniques are crucial in addressing the diverse needs of thyroid cancer patients. As more surgeons adopt these methods, we can anticipate a shift towards minimally invasive surgeries becoming the standard of care.

 In conclusion, with the findings from this comprehensive meta-analysis and the introduction of techniques like RABIT, the future of thyroid cancer treatment is promising. These advancements are setting a new standard in thyroid cancer therapy, offering patients safe, effective, and aesthetically pleasing surgical options.

 The commitment to innovation in surgical techniques exemplified by experts like Dr. Sandeep Nayak is pivotal in enhancing patient outcomes and expanding the horizons of thyroid cancer treatment. As research continues to evolve, we can expect further breakthroughs that will solidify the role of minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgeries in oncology, ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.

About Dr. Sandeep Nayak

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, one of India's leading surgical oncologists, and the Founder and Chief of Surgical Oncology at MACS Clinic, Bangalore, is globally recognized for his expertise in minimally invasive cancer surgery.

Dedicated to providing ethical, evidence-based, and innovative treatment options, Dr. Nayak ensures the highest standard of dependable care. His unwavering passion for advancing cancer treatment continually improves patient outcomes and sets new benchmarks in oncology.

For further details, Contact Dr. Sandeep Nayak –

MACS Clinic,

42nd Cross Rd,

8th BIock, Jayanagar,

Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560 070

Email:  support@macsclinic.com

This article is part of a featured content programme.
Published 23 May 2024, 08:49 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us