Background. Use of the ultrasonic dissector in thyroid surgery is becoming more prevalent, with reduced operative time and incision size reported. We assessed the value of the harmonic scalpel in routine thyroid lobectomy. Methods. We conducted a single blind, prospective pilot study of 52 euthyroid patients requiring thyroid lobectomy. Those with lesions not suitable for resection through a 4-cm incision, a history of thyroiditis, or uncontrolled thyroid dysfunction were excluded. Patients were allocated to 1 of 2 groups: group I (n = 31), thyroid lobectomies using conventional surgical techniques; or group II (n = 21), thyroid lobectomies using the ultrasonic dissector. Results. Outcomes for the 2 patient groups were comparable. There was no significant difference in operative time or incision size. Conclusions. The ultrasonic dissector does not confer any quantifiable benefit in routine thyroid lobectomy when compared with conventional techniques. This is the first reported series in which its use has not reduced operative time.
- Ultrasonic dissector