Obesity May Not Affect Outcomes of Transoral Robotic Thyroidectomy: Subset Analysis of 304 Patients

Dora Kai Chun Tai, Hoon Yub Kim, Dawon Park, Jiyoung You, Hong Kyu Kim, Jonathon O. Russell, Ralph P. Tufano

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives/Hypothesis: Obesity is an increasing health concern worldwide. It has been associated with perioperative complications that could affect patient outcomes. Our aim was to compare surgical outcomes in obese and nonobese patients after transoral robotic thyroid (TORT) surgery. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Methods: A total of 304 consecutive patients who underwent TORT between January 2012 to December 2017 were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups according to their body mass index (BMI): BMI < 30 kg/m2 and BMI ≥30 kg/m2. Patient demographics, operative extent, pathological data, surgical outcomes, and postoperative complications were included and analyzed. A χ2 test was used to compare categorical variables, and a Student t test was used to compare changes of continuous variables between groups. Statistical significance was conferred by a two-tailed P value of ≤.05. Results: There were 290 patients in the non-obese group and 14 patients in the obese group. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of patient demographics, operative procedure, or pathological characteristics. The only statistically significant difference was for lymph node dissection (P =.012); however, for both groups, unilateral central node dissection was the most common procedure. There was also no statistically significant difference found for operative time, length of stay, pain score, or postoperative complications including TORT-specific complications such as oral commissure tear and general complications such as recurrent nerve injury. Conclusions: This initial experience shows that TORT appears to be a safe and feasible option for obese patients pursuing scarless thyroid surgery. Level of Evidence: NA. Laryngoscope, 130:1343–1348, 2020.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1343-1348
    Number of pages6
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1


    • Obesity
    • transoral robotic thyroidectomy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Otorhinolaryngology


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