Learning curve for endoscopic thyroidectomy: a single teaching hospital study
Feilin Cao, Ketao Jin, Binbin Cui, Bojian Xie
Department of Surgical Oncology, Taizhou Hospital, Wenzhou Medical College, Linhai, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China
Background: Endoscopic thyroidectomy allows surgeons to remove a thyroid tumor from a remote site, while providing excellent results from a cosmetic viewpoint. Endoscopic thyroidectomy via the breast approach is a recent technique that requires a learning curve. Research on the learning curve for endoscopic thyroidectomy could be a method for investigating the surgical outcome.
Methods: This retrospective study investigated 100 consecutive patients who underwent endoscopic thyroidectomy performed by a single endoscopist over a period of 5 years. From January 2007 to December 2011, 100 of 355 patients scheduled for endoscopic thyroidectomy selected the breast approach. We divided the patients into four groups. Each group consisted of 25 patients: group A (cases 1–25), group B (cases 26–50), group C (cases 51–75), and group D (cases 76–100).
Results: The operative times for groups A, B, C, and D were 100.52 ± 25.13, 80.34 ± 20.22, 72.42 ± 15.33, and 63.35 ± 15.11 minutes, respectively (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: After 25 cases, we observed that endoscopic thyroidectomy via the breast approach enables a shorter mean operative time and a reduced complication rate.
Keywords: endoscopic thyroidectomy, thyroidectomy, learning curve, thyroid complications
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