Physician at Medical Center at Augusta University Thyroid Center Conducts Research on Robotic Thyroidectomy
David Terris, MD, a surgeon with Medical Center at Augusta University's Thyroid Center, is among a very few head and neck surgeons in the country who perform endoscopic thyroidectomies to treat or rule out thyroid cancer. Therefore, his interest in using the da Vinci Robotic System for thyroidectomies was a natural progression.
When Dr. Terris began investigating robotic head and neck surgery at Stanford University in 2002, he was the first to experiment with this approach. After helping to establish Medical Center at Augusta University's now nationally renowned Thyroid Center in 2004, he continued exploring robotic thyroid surgery with promising results. Dr. Terris anticipates applying for Institutional Review Board approval to perform the surgery in humans.
Open and Endoscopic Thyroidectomies
While traditional open thyroidectomies require a 3-4 inch incision and a hospital stay, the endoscopic procedures Dr. Terris now performs can be done on an outpatient basis through a 3/4 inch incision. In addition to cosmetic advantages, patients enjoy faster recoveries, require less pain medication, experience fewer voice problems and heal more rapidly.
Robotic Thyroidectomy: The Next Step
With the da Vinci robotic system, Dr. Terris will make a small incision in a remote location such as the armpit, further improving cosmetic outcomes. The da Vinci system offers true 3-D visualization for clearer, more detailed images of the surgical site, facilitating safe outcomes. Moreover the da Vinci instruments allow for increased precision, as movements are faithfully reproduced robotically and scaled for enhanced accuracy.