Lingual thyroidectomy: The mayo clinic experience with transoral laser microsurgery and transoral robotic surgery

Brittany E. Howard, Eric J. Moore, Michael L. Hinni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: We report the clinical findings, surgical management, and outcomes for lingual thyroidectomy. Methods: We performed a retrospective case review of lingual thyroidectomy performed at 3 tertiary-care academic referral centers between 1994 and 2012. Results: Nine patients underwent lingual thyroidectomy for symptoms including globus sensation (6 patients), dysphagia (5 patients), and airway obstruction (5 patients). Before surgery, 3 patients had attempted medical suppressive therapy. Lingual thyroidectomy was performed by transoral laser microsurgery in 4 patients, transoral robotic surgery in 3 patients, transoral surgery without microscopic assistance in 1 patient, and an open approach with a modified Sistrunk procedure in 1 patient. Total thyroidectomy was attained in 7 patients, and subtotal resection in 2. The follow-up averaged 8 months, and all patients reported significant improvement in their symptoms. One patient had a recurrence. Complications included postoperative bleeding and epiglottic perforation in 1 patient and airway obstruction secondary to angioedema in another patient. There was no significant difference in operative times between transoral laser microsurgery (91 ±; 16 minutes) and transoral robotic surgery (109 ± 35 minutes). Transoral surgery without microscopic assistance and open resection had longer operative times (206 and 246 minutes, respectively). Conclusions: Surgical resection of lingual thyroid glands achieves significant improvement in patient symptoms, with low rates of recurrence. We favor a total lingual thyroidectomy approach with use of either a microscope or a robotic endoscope for optical assistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Ectopic thyroid gland
  • Lingual thyroid gland
  • Recurrence
  • Transoral laser microsurgery
  • Transoral robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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