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Thyroid surgery is one of those procedures that has been moving from the inpatient to the outpatient suite thanks to innovations in surgical instruments, techniques and training.
Surgeons like Mark Bailey, MD, general surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Garland, are skilled in minimally invasive thyroid surgery in which the instruments are passed through small incisions. “This technique offers less pain and a faster recovery for patients,” Dr. Bailey says.
Depending on the reason for the procedure, doctors can send many patients home just three to five hours after their surgery.
“The shorter scars associated with the minimally invasive approaches are a huge plus for thyroid patients,” Dr. Bailey explains. “Because of the gland’s prominent location, traditional open surgery leaves a scar on the neck that is difficult to hide—unless you wear a lot of scarves or turtlenecks.”
The typical thyroid incision measures 8 to 12 centimeters, or 3 to 5 inches. But with the smaller instruments, surgeons can shorten that to less than 1 inch.
For many patients, that may be the incentive they need to undergo surgical treatment rather than opting for radioactive iodine or a lifetime of of thyroid medication.
For a referral to a surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White – Garland skilled in minimally invasive procedures, call 1.800.4BAYLOR or search our online directory.
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