To compare the scar outcome of video-assisted parathyroidectomy (VAP) with traditional bilateral cervical exploration (BCE) using previously validated scar assessment scales, and to examine the feasibility of introducing VAP into a general otolaryngology–head and neck practice.
A retrospective review of medical records from a prospectively obtained database of patients and long-term follow-up of scar analysis.
The records of 60 patients undergoing parathyroidectomy were reviewed: 29 patients underwent VAP and 31 patients underwent an open procedure with BCE. The groups were matched for age and sex. A total of 46 patients were followed up to assess scar outcome.
Main Outcome Measures
The primary outcome was a comparison of patient and observer scar satisfaction between VAP and traditional BCE using validated scar assessment tools: the Patient Scar Assessment Scale and the Manchester Scar Scale. The secondary outcomes were to retrospectively evaluate our results with VAP and to assess the suitability of introducing this technique into a general otolaryngology–head and neck practice.
The average scar length in the VAP group was 1.7 cm, and the average scar length in the BCE group was 4.3 cm. The patients in the BCE group scored higher than the patients in the VAP group on the Manchester Scar Scale (P < .01) and on the Patient and Observer Scar Scales (P = .02), indicating a worse scar outcome. The mean operative time in the VAP group was 41 minutes compared with 115 minutes in the open procedure BCE group. There was no difference between the 2 groups in terms of postoperative complications.
Video-assisted parathyroidectomy is a safe and feasible procedure in the setting of a general otolaryngology–head and neck practice, with outcomes and complication rates that are comparable to those of traditional bilateral neck exploration. Both patient and observer analysis demonstrated that VAP was associated with a more favorable scar outcome when compared with BCE.