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Robotic Thyroidectomy Decreases Postoperative Pain Compared With Conventional Thyroidectomy

Kim, Min Kyoung MD, PhD*; Kang, Hyun MD, PhD, MPH*; Choi, Geun Joo MD, PhD*; Kang, Kyung Ho MD, PhD

Surgical Laparoscopy Endoscopy & Percutaneous Techniques: August 2019 - Volume 29 - Issue 4 - p 255–260
doi: 10.1097/SLE.0000000000000689
Original Articles

Background: This retrospective study compared postoperative pain between patients undergoing open thyroidectomy (OT) and bilateral axillo-breast approach (BABA) robotic thyroidectomy (RT).

Materials and Methods: We analyzed the electronic medical records of 1269 patients who underwent OT or RT at Chung-Ang University Hospital between January 1, 2010 and April 30, 2016. On the basis of the surgical procedure performed, patients were categorized into an OT (n=1128) and a BABA RT (BRT) group (n=141). On the basis of covariates, patients in these groups were matched using propensity score matching (n=86 in each group).

Results: After propensity score matching, no intergroup differences were observed in the covariates. The visual analogue scale scores for pain on postoperative day 0 were lower in the BRT than in the OT group (2.57±0.95 vs. 2.28±0.95, P=0.040). However, no statistically significant differences were observed in the use of rescue analgesics, the numerical rating scale score for nausea, and the use of rescue antiemetics.

Conclusions: Pain on postoperative day 0 was lesser in the BRT than in the OT group. Similarly, the severity of nausea was lesser in the BRT group, despite longer operation time and broad dissection performed for docking the robotic arms.

Departments of *Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Surgery, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (2018R1A2A2A05021467).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Hyun Kang, MD, PhD, MPH, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, 201, Heukseok-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul 156-755, Republic of Korea (e-mail:

Received January 3, 2019

Accepted April 30, 2019

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.