New Approach to Thyroidectomy Eliminates Neck Scar

Hoag has always taken a patient-centered approach. An innovative approach. A different approach.

Through the work of surgeons Michael Demeure, M.D., and Colleen Coleman, M.D., Hoag recently became the first hospital in Southern California to take a new approach to thyroidectomies that completely eliminates the telltale neck scar of this common operation.

Developed in Bangkok, Thailand, the transoral endoscopic thyroidectomy procedure allows surgeons to remove all or part of a patient’s thyroid through three small incisions inside the mouth between the gum line and lower lip where surgeons can then use an endoscope to remove the thyroid gland.

Hoag is one of the first hospitals in the nation where this minimally invasive technique is available.

“At Hoag we are always working to learn innovative techniques and latest surgical advancements that can benefit our patients,” Dr. Demeure said. “When compared to the conventional approach, performed through a two-inch opening in the neck, this option provides the cosmetic benefit of no visible scar.”

Drs. Demeure and Coleman performed the first two transoral endoscopic thyroidectomies on patients in March 2018.

“The patients who have undergone this procedure were excited to be among the ‘first, appreciating the lack of a scar on their neck,’” Dr. Coleman said. “But given the positive outcomes, I expect this will catch on. Eventually, this new approach might become a standard approach.”

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