The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-239) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Shuang Lin, Zhi-Heng Chen contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
YJR designed the study; CZH and YJR performed the literature search and retrieved data; LS and JHG collected the data; and LS and CZH performed the research and wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
To conduct a meta-analysis to determine the relative merits of robotic thyroidectomy (RT) and endoscopic thyroidectomy (ET).
A literature search was performed to identify comparative studies reporting peri-operative outcomes for RT and ET. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and weighted mean differences (WMDs) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated using either a fixed-effects or a random-effects model.
Six studies matched the selection criteria, which reported on 2048 subjects, of whom 978 underwent RT and 1070 underwent ET. Comparing the outcomes of RT with ET, this meta-analysis indicated that RT was associated with more complications (WMD = 1.51, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.94) and greater amount of drainage fluid (WMD = 17.10, 95% CI 5.69 to 28.51). Meanwhile, operating time (WMD = 1.50, 95% CI −39.59 to 42.58), conversion (WMD = 0.63, 95% CI 0.07 to 6.17), post-operative hospital stay (WMD = −0.05; 95% CI −0.18 to 0.08), and the number of lymph nodes harvested (WMD = 0.62, 95% CI −0.29 to 1.53) were similar for both procedures.
The results of this meta-analysis indicated that RT is associated with an increased risk of complications and a greater amount of drainage fluid. Therefore, RT does not appear to have any advantage over ET. Further studies are required to confirm these results.
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