Cosmetic thyroid surgery: Defining the essential principles

David J. Terris, Melanie W. Seybt, Mayssoun Elchoufi, Edward Chin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Minimally invasive thyroid surgery is rapidly becoming a common approach in busy endocrine surgery practices. The surgical concepts necessarily include a number of principles found within the realm of plastic surgery. DESIGN: The study was a prospective, nonrandomized analysis of a consecutive series of thyroid surgical patients. METHODS AND MATERIALS: All patients who underwent thyroid surgery at the Medical College of Georgia in the Department of Otolaryngology were prospectively evaluated. Recommendations for endoscopic thyroidectomy, minimally invasive nonendoscopic thyroidectomy (MINET), or conventional thyroid surgery were based on patient and disease parameters as previously described. Specific factors contributing to improved cosmetic outcomes were sought. RESULTS: Two hundred forty-eight patients underwent thyroidectomy between September 2003 and June 2006. There were 50 males and 198 females, with a mean age of 44.9 ± 14.6 years. Seventy-seven (31.0%) patients underwent conventional thyroidectomy (group A), 120 (48.4%) patients had MINET (group B), and the remaining 51 (20.6%) patients underwent thyroidectomy with an endoscopic technique (Group C). Incision lengths were 92.4 ± 22.3 mm in Group A, 46.4 ± 9.9 mm in Group B, and 24.3 ± 5.9 mm in Group C. The factors that contributed most to an optimal cosmetic result were marking the patient while he or she was sitting up prior to surgery, resecting skin edges during closure, avoidance of subplatysmal flap elevation and drains, and use of Dermabond. CONCLUSIONS: Achieving an optimal cosmetic result when performing thyroid surgery is easiest when oneapplies a number of principles, including elements normally associated with plastic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1168-1172
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Aesthetic surgery
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Endocrine surgery
  • Endoscopic
  • Minimally invasive
  • Plastic surgery
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Thyroidectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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