Background: In this study, we evaluate a new flexible, single-arm robotic system in performing thyroidectomy via a retroauricular approach. Methods: Four fresh cadavers were used. Technical details of the new system are discussed, and the comprehensive surgical procedures are described step by step. Results: This single-port flexible system could be used to successfully perform retroauricular thyroidectomy. The ideal angle to dock the patient-side cart was at a 90° angle to the operating table. When the cannula tip was placed 10 to 15 cm away from the skin incision, positioning and full movement of all four instruments without collisions were possible. Three flexible instruments and an endoscope made the robotic dissection more efficient. Conclusions: We describe the first preclinical evaluation of an innovative, flexible, single-arm robotic surgical system for retroauricular thyroidectomy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Support for the study was provided by Wanda and Chuck Hooper and the Stanford Head and Neck Surgery Research Fund. The authors also acknowledge the engineering expertise of Paul Lilagan, MSE; Michael Ikeda, BS; Christie Draper, PhD; and the entire Da Vinci Sp Engineering Team.
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