Eliminating gas insufflation during the procedure avoids the complications associated with CO2 retention, such as retained subcutaneous air, pneumomediastinum and retained CO2 in the blood, which leads to hypercarbia and acidosis, Dr. Kandil said. Preliminary data show that patients undergoing this procedure report significantly less pain after surgery compared to patients undergoing traditional neck surgery (J Am Coll Surg. 2009;209(2):e1-7). “Most probably this is related to the smaller number of nerve endings in the axilla area compared to the neck,” he said.
Explore this issue:April 2010
Dr. Holsinger, at least, believes robotic thyroidectomy will change the way head and neck surgery is performed. “In the next five years, with robotics as a common platform, I predict that we’ll design and perform several new and innovative procedures for head and neck surgery via transoral and transaxillary approaches,” he said.
Tom Valeo is a medical writer based in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Editor’s Note: None of the sources quoted in this article reported financial ties to Intuitive Surgical, the company that makes the da Vinci Surgical System.