Background: Endoscopic thyroidectomy via the oral vestibular approach (ETVOA) and endoscopic thyroidectomy via the areola approach (ETAA) are becoming more favored in China. Compared with conventional open surgery, both methods avoid the scarring on the neck, but only ETVOA obviates scarring of the skin, which may helps patients achieve a better quality of life (QOL). However, the benefit of the QOL from this technique has not been adequately investigated, therefore this study compared the QOL outcomes between ETVOA and ETAA.
Methods: We enrolled 131 patients in this study. ETAA surgery and ETVOA surgery were performed in 74 patients and 57 patients, respectively. These patients were followed up at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks, and their QOL was evaluated using a thyroid surgery-specific questionnaire and a short-form health survey (SF-36).
Results: There were no differences in clinical characteristics such as gender, age, body mass index (BMI), and tumor size between the two groups. The volume of intraoperative blood loss, cost of hospitalization, and complications between the two procedures showed no differences. Compared with ETAA, ETVOA has a longer operation time, no drainage, and shorter hospital stay. In the QOL questionnaire, several parameters in ETVOA were better. The satisfaction scores of patients undergoing ETVOA were higher. In addition, the cosmetic satisfaction in patients who received ETOVA was significantly better than that of patients who underwent ETAA. The degree of neck movement disorder in patients with ETVOA was milder. Patients who received ETVOA had higher score on the SF-36.
Conclusions: Compared with ETAA, ETVOA can acquire better cosmetic results and make patients quick return to normal life.Patients who underwent ETVOA achieved high-level QOL.