Background: Many remote-access approaches (RAAs) to the thyroid have been described to circumvent anterior neck scarring, including the transaxillary, robotic facelift, and transoral endoscopic vestibular approaches. These techniques have been popularized in Asia, but adoption has been slow in North America. We aimed to examine multi-institutional North American outcomes with RAA thyroidectomy in the context of these institutions' transcervical approach (TCA) outcomes. Study Design: Cases of lobectomy and total thyroidectomy via transaxillary, robotic facelift, and transoral endoscopic vestibular approaches were reviewed. Demographic characteristics, outcomes, and complications were compared with the same measures in patients undergoing lobectomy and total thyroidectomy via TCA by the primary RAA surgeons at each institution. Patients who underwent parathyroidectomy or other concomitant neck dissection procedures were excluded. Results: Two hundred and sixteen RAA thyroidectomies were attempted (92 transoral endoscopic vestibular approaches, 70 transaxillary, and 54 robotic facelift) and 410 TCA thyroidectomies were performed. There was no difference in mean index nodule sizes between RAA (2.8 ± 1.6 cm) and TCA (2.9 ± 1.9 cm) cohorts (p = 0.72). Median operative times for lobectomy were 146 minutes (range 60 to 343 minutes) and 90 minutes (range 25 to 247 minutes) for the RAA and TCA cohorts, respectively (p < 0.0001). Median operative time for total thyroidectomy was 170 minutes (range 100 to 398 minutes) vs 126.5 minutes (range 51 to 260 minutes) for the RAA and TCA cohorts, respectively (p < 0.0001). There was no difference in the rates of permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve injury between the RAA (0 of 216 [0%]) and TCA (0 of 410 [0%]) cohorts (p = 0.99). Conclusions: Remote-access approach thyroidectomy can be performed in a select North American patient population with outcomes comparable with TCA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas