Postoperative neck cosmesis is a major concern of patients undergoing thyroid surgery. Patients will likely be more satisfied with the long-term cosmetic appearance of smaller than larger thyroidectomy scars. We, therefore, investigated the relationship between scar length following conventional thyroid surgery and patient satisfaction. An anonymous scar-assessment questionnaire was administered to patients who underwent conventional thyroid surgery. The 2,041 patients were asked to rate their satisfaction with their scars on a ten-point Likert scale, with one being very unsatisfied and ten being very satisfied. The mean satisfaction score was significantly lower in the benign condition than in malignancy (6.9 ± 2.5 vs. 7.4 ± 2.5; p = 0.021), whereas there were no differences in satisfaction score among subgroups of patients with benign condition (p = 0.837). In patients with thyroid cancer, the mean satisfaction scores were similar among subgroups according to operation type and scar length (p = 0.820). Incision length was not associated with patient satisfaction in thyroid surgery patients and therefore may not be critical in decision making for thyroid cancer surgery.
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