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Wirth, Ulrich; Ahnen, Thomas von; Hampel, Josef; Schardey, Josefine; Busch, Peter; Schardey, Hans Martin and Schopf, Stefan (2021): Quality of life and surgical outcome of ABBA versus EndoCATS endoscopic thyroid surgery: a single center experience. In: Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques, Vol. 36, No. 2: pp. 968-979

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Background Thyroid surgery is often performed, especially in young female patients. As patient satisfaction become more and more important, different extra-cervical remote approaches have evolved to avoid visible scars in the neck for better cosmetic outcome. The most common remote approaches are the transaxillary and retroauricular. Aim of this work is to compare Endoscopic Cephalic Access Thyroid Surgery (EndoCATS) and axillo-bilateral-breast approach (ABBA) to standard open procedures regarding perioperative outcome and in addition to control cohorts regarding quality of life (QoL) and patient satisfaction. Methods In a single center, 59 EndoCATS und 52 ABBA procedures were included out of a 2 years period and compared to 225 open procedures using propensity-score matching. For the endoscopic procedures, cosmetic outcome, patient satisfaction and QoL (SF-12 questionnaire) were examined in prospective follow-up. For QoL a German standard cohort and non-surgically patients with thyroid disease were used as controls. Result The overall perioperative outcome was similar for all endoscopic compared to open thyroid surgeries. Surgical time was longer for endoscopic procedures. There were no cases of permanent hypoparathyroidism and no significant differences regarding temporary or permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) palsies between open and ABBA or EndoCATS procedures (chi(2);p = 0.893 and 0.840). For ABBA and EndoCATS, 89.6% and 94.2% of patients were satisfied with the surgical procedure. Regarding QoL, there was an overall significant difference in distribution for physical, but not for mental health between groups (p < 0.001 and 0.658). Both endoscopic groups performed slightly worse regarding physical health, but without significant difference between the individual groups in post hoc multiple comparison. Conclusion Endoscopic thyroid surgery is safe with comparable perioperative outcome in experienced high-volume centers. Patient satisfaction and cosmetic results are excellent;QoL is impaired in surgical patients, as they perform slightly worse compared to German standard cohort and non-surgical patients.

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