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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid tumors and nodules are very common and have long been effectively treated surgically by means of a (traditional) open-neck procedure or through a minimally-invasive endoscopic technique, also achieved through a neck incision.

Robotic-assisted transaxillary thyroidectomy has evolved to overcome many of the technical limitations of both the conventional and endoscopic procedures.

The robotic-assisted thyroidectomy is a safe thyroid surgery that uses a transaxillary (armpit incision) approach. This method provides a wider view of the thyroid bed in comparison to the traditional endoscopic thyroidectomy through the neck, while at the same time maintaining the oncological and functional outcomes of the traditional open thyroidectomy. The da Vinci® Robotic System gives unsurpassed visualization of the procedure; and with the precise movements of its surgical instruments, the system allows for minute and exact dissection and preservation of the laryngeal nerves and parathyroid glands. The System enables surgeons to precisely perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions.

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Many patients are understandably concerned about the cosmetic appearance of their necks after surgery. With robotic thyroid surgery, cosmetic recovery is excellent because the surgical scar is covered by the arm in its natural position. Patients also benefit from reduced fibrosis and contracture of the anterior neck.

There are many additional benefits of robotic surgery over traditional surgery. These may include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Fewer surgical complications
  • Less scarring and fewer scars
  • A shorter hospital stay and a faster return to normal daily activities
  • In many cases, better clinical outcomes.

Candidates for Robotic Thyroid Surgery

Eligibility for the procedure requires a comprehensive clinical and radiological evaluation of the extent of the thyroid disease, taking into regard as well the patient’s other general health conditions.


Thyroid Surgical Clinic, Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. Please call (312) 695-8182.

Last UpdateDecember 2, 2011


To make an appointment with a physician, please call 1-877-926-4664.

New patients can request an appointment online.