Complications of transoral thyroidectomy: Overview and update

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Transoral thyroidectomy via the vestibular approach has become popular worldwide, with advantages including less surgical morbidity, excellent postoperative cosmesis, and superior functional voice outcomes. Several studies have reported that the surgical outcomes of the transoral approach were comparable to those of the conventional transcervical approach in selected patients. However, unusual complications, such as CO2 embolism, mental nerve injury, surgical space infection, skin perforation, burns, and trauma have been noted in transoral thyroidectomy. This paper aims to review and provide updated information on these complications and their management. Routine intraoperative neural monitoring is required to avoid laryngeal nerve palsy in the transoral approach. To prevent CO2 embolism, surgeons need to be careful not to injure the anterior jugular vein, and the CO2 insufflation pressure should be set as low as 4–6 mmHg. To avoid mental nerve inju-ry, vestibular incisions should be placed in the safety zone, and dissection of the vestibular area and chin should be mini-mized. In conclusion, recognizing the possibility of complications and understanding their prevention and management are important for patient safety and the success of the transoral approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • CO2 Embolism
  • Complications
  • Mental Nerve Injuries
  • Surgical Site Infection
  • Transoral Thyroidectomy
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis


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