Objective: To report our initial experience with the transaxillary totally endoscopic (TATE) approach to the thyroid gland. Study Design: A historic cohort study of patients undergoing TATE procedures compared with open procedures for hemithyroidectomy with isthmusectomy. Setting: Private-practice otolaryngology group. Subject and Methods: Patients selected for benign thyroid disease confirmed by fine-needle aspiration and requiring hemithyroidectomy with isthmusectomy. A historic cohort study of 24 patients who underwent TATE procedures for hemithyroidectomy with isthmusectomy. Comparison of the first 10 TATE approaches to a control group of 10 consecutive open approaches by the senior author's group. Results: All 24 TATE patients were successful without the need to convert to an open procedure. The TATE approach had longer operative times than the open group (142 vs 105), but these operative times decreased as the number of procedures increased (first five TATE = 170, last five TATE = 114, n = 24, average = 114). No patients had peri- or postoperative complications. Conclusions: The TATE approach to the thyroid gland is safe and effective. Operative time is longer but decreases with experience. The TATE approach is one option to treat young patients with unilateral benign thyroid disease who are seeking to avoid visible scars and limit morbidity.
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