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Surgeons complete the first scar-free thyroid surgery in Asean

A team of Thai surgeons at Bangkok's Police General Hospital have successfully completed the Transoral Endoscopic Thyroidectomy (TET) surgery for the first time in Southeast Asia, following a small number of successful operations in Germany, Japan and China.

The hospital has been developing and improving this innovative technique since April, and there have been 14 patients who have received TET with satisfactory results. This success by the hospital's surgical team set a new standard for thyroid surgery in Thailand.

Sizes of thyroid nodules found in Thai patients range from 3-10cm with an average of 6cm nodules requiring only two hours of operation and a 3-4 day recovery period. The Endoscopic Thyroidectomy technique leaves no scars, and results in substantially lower pain in post-procedure recovery.

Dr Angkoon Anuwong from the hospital's Department of Surgery said: "We are very proud of our successful operations in the field of Transoral Endoscopic Thyroid-ectomy, this being the first time the pioneering procedure has been performed in Southeast Asia.

"This advanced technique has brought improved quality of life and better comfort for patients due to being a faster and less complex process.

Patients can feel 100 per cent confident in safety, efficacy and satisfaction of this procedure."

Angkoon said the surgeons doing TET oeprations started by making a small cut of 1cm on the area between the lower lip and lower gums (Oral Vestibule), and on each side for two further cuts, each 0.5cm in length. High-tech laparoscopes and cutting devices are then used, penetrating through cuts to perform the necessary operation in the throat area.

After, the wounds are stitched with chromic catgut (which dissolves in 30 days). The patient can be moved to a ward after surgery and is able to take sustenance the following day.

Convenient technique

"This technique leaves no scars on the patient's skin," Angkoon said.

"Mouth tissues contain more blood vessels so wounds can recover very soon with no marks remaining on the oral mucosa. TET is considered to be the most convenient way to deal with thyroid glands on both sides simultaneously, causing less pain and less bleeding (not over 10-20cc).

"Patients report that a few days after surgery, they feel no pain whatsoever; it takes only 3-4 days for observation and, if no other complications are present, patients can return home."

Meanwhile, the department can successfully complete minimally invasive surgery techniques in complex operations such as Laparoscopic Bariatric weight loss surgery, Laparoscopic liver resection, and Laparoscopic colorectal surgery.

Its Minimally Invasive Surgery Excellence Centre was also recently set up to provide diagnosis and treatment services, including research projects.

It is expected that the centre will be a leading hub of academics and practice of minimally invasive surgery in the region.


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