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The use of the harmonic scalpel in thyroidectomy: 'beyond the learning curve'

Lookup NU author(s): Seb Aspinall, Richard Bliss, Professor Thomas Lennard

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION Safe and effective haemostasis in surgery is clearly essential, and in the neck where risks of airway compromise are also present any new technology that purports to offer advantages must be rigorously evaluated. We describe our experience with the use of the Harmonic Scalpel [Ethicon UK] in thyroidectomy. PATIENTS AND METHODS A retrospective clinical review of 183 patients undergoing hemi or total thyroidectomies from 12 months prior to using the harmonic scalpel (2003; n = 77) and 12 months 'beyond the learning curve' (2006; n = 106). RESULTS The results demonstrate that, once past the learning curve, the use of the harmonic scalpel during thyroidectomy significantly reduces operative time and postoperative hypocalcaemia, and is as safe as conventional surgery with regard to voice change and bleeding. CONCLUSIONS The harmonic scalpel is as safe as conventional methods of haemostasis and operations using this technique are quicker once the need to have repetitive 'clip, cut and tie' routines is avoided.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Foreman E, Aspinall SR, Bliss RD, Lennard TWJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

Year: 2009

Volume: 91

Issue: 3

Pages: 214-216

ISSN (print): 0035-8843

ISSN (electronic): 1478-7083

Publisher: Royal College of Surgeons of England

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1308/003588409X391811

DOI: 10.1308/003588409X391811


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