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Introduction and use of video‐assisted endoscopic thyroidectomy for patients in

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We developed video‐assisted neck surgery (VANS) – a feasible, simple, and safe endoscopic thyroid procedure with cosmetic benefits – in 1998. To date, we have performed this procedure 633 times. We have also introduced the VANS method in Belarus, a country that was left contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

From a mass screening, nine Belarusian patients, including two with papillary carcinoma of the thyroid, were selected to undergo an operation using the VANS method, performed by a single surgeon (author Shimizu). We compared indicating factors for minimally invasive surgery, specifically the operating time and blood loss, between the Belarusian cases and the 33 most recent cases performed at our institute in Tokyo.

The procedures in Belarus were performed under very different working conditions than in Japan. However, operating time and blood loss improved for the Belarusian cases as the surgeon gained experience in this environment; all the cosmetic outcomes were excellent. Subsequently, over a 2‐year period, surgeons in Belarus performed the VANS method, with modification, for 29 cases of thyroid tumor.

The VANS method is easily learned by inexperienced surgeons without major technical problems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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