Dr. Chang offering minimally invasive robotic surgery

Estelle Chang, M.D., an assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, recently returned from a six-month advanced robotic head and neck endocrine surgery fellowship at Yonsei Severance Hospital in Seoul, South Korea.

During her fellowship training, Dr. Chang also studied the latest, minimally invasive, thyroid and parathyroid surgery techniques. She now offers minimally-invasive robotic surgery at Nebraska Medicine for patients who need thyroidectomy, meet specific criteria, and desire a procedure that won’t leave a visible neck scar. She also offers minimally invasive robotic surgeries for patients who need to have their submandibular gland, thyroglossal duct cyst and other non-cancerous lesions from neck removed.

“Traditionally, thyroidectomy has been performed using a 4- to 8-centimer incision in the front of the neck which leaves a very visible scar,” Dr. Chang said. “Robotic thyroidectomy is the latest, minimally invasive surgical technique that is used to remove all or part of a thyroid gland without leaving a visible scar.”

Robotic surgery for thyroid disorders in the United States is currently offered at only a few leading academic medical centers. It is considered to be a safe procedure in the hands of an experienced robotic surgeon, Dr. Chang said. Robotic surgery also can be used to remove other benign masses of the neck, such as lipomas and thyroglossal duct cysts.

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