To determine if performing parathyroidectomy surgery through minimal access (MA) incisions has any notable aesthetic or quality-of-life impact on patients compared with conventional access (CON) techniques.
Paired cohort with (1) a prospective MA incision and scar cohort and (2) a sex- and age-matched (within 3 years) retrospective CON incision and scar cohort.
Tertiary care center.
Fifteen patients enrolled in prospective study protocol over a 2-year period; 11 patients met inclusion criteria. A sex- and age-matched retrospective cohort of patients was selected from a patient population undergoing surgical treatment of thyroid neoplastic diseases using a CON approach. Inclusion criteria were use of MA incision for parathyroidectomy and return for long-term follow-up scar assessment.
Minimal access parathyroidectomy surgery vs CON thyroidectomy surgical procedures, postoperative follow-up assessment of scar aesthetics by patient and naive viewers, and digital photography and analysis of the surgical incision site. All patients were followed for at least 8 months after surgery.
Main Outcome Measures
The Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS), Vancouver Scar Scale, and photographic scar analysis by naive viewers.
There was no significant difference in scar assessment scale scores between the MA and CON cohorts and no clinically significant difference in overall patient satisfaction with scars between cohorts (POSAS: Patient Scar Assessment Scale, P = .14,
and Observer Scar Assessment Scale, P = .79;
Vancouver Scar Scale, P = .76).
There was increased visibility of scars in the CON cohort to naive viewers.
Although they were more readily visible to naive viewers, CON (larger) cervical scars created in parathyroidectomy or thyroidectomy surgery do not translate into decreased patient satisfaction with their scar result. This may indicate a limited quality-of-life benefit in using MA approaches in transcervical surgical procedures.