The following article features coverage from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) 2018 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Bilateral axillo-breast approach (BABA) robotic thyroidectomy can be safely implemented for hemithyroidectomies or complete thyroidectomies and neck dissection among selected patients, according to a case series presented at the 88th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association in Washington, D.C.1

The BABA technique is a novel approach to providing a “scarless” thyroidectomy and neck dissection; the efficacy of this approach has been well-documented in the literature.. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the initial experience with BABA in the United States.

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The case study included 50 patients who underwent BABA robotic thyroidectomy between 2015 and 2017. These patients were either prone to developing scar tissue or wished to avoid neck scarring. The technique included 8 mm-sized remote incisions at the periareolar and axillary skin folds. Subplatysmal flap dissections were performed by endoscopy, and the robotic platform was used for thyroidectomy and lymph node dissections.

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Patients were undergoing hemithyroidectomy  or total thyroidectomy with or without central or lateral neck dissection or complete thyroidectomy. The mean patient age was 37.8, median body mass index was 25 kg/m2, and all patients were female.

The BABA technique resulted in excellent outcomes. The median operative time was 250 minutes (range, 192-420 minutes) with a median length of hospital stay of 0 days (range, 0-3 days). The median estimated blood loss per patient was 20 mL (range, 10-300 mL).

Adverse events associated with the BABA technique were transient vocal cord paresis that resolved within 2 months, transient hypothyroidism, and neck seroma that required aspiration. There were no deaths, postoperative hematomas, infections, open conversions, permanent nerve injury, or permanent hypoparathyroidism.

The authors concluded that these data suggest that “BABA robotic thyroidectomy can be safely implemented in the US with excellent surgical and cosmetic outcomes in a selective group of patients with benign and malignant thyroid disease.”

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the ATA 2018 meeting by visiting the conference page.


  1. Suh H, Hakkarainen T, Aronova A, Inabnet W. Implementation of bilateral axillo-breast approach robotic thyroidectomy in the United States: the first 50 cases. Presented at: the 88th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association; Washington, D.C.: October 3-7, 2018. Abstract poster 109.