A surgical team from the University of Chicago Medicine led by Drs. Raymon Grogan and Zhen Gooi was the first in the Midwest and the fourth in the United States to remove diseased thyroid or parathyroid glands – located at the front of the neck, an inch or two below the chin – using an approach that leaves no visible scar.
The standard thyroid operation has long been performed through a two-inch or longer opening in the neck, known as a transverse-collar incision. This leaves a permanent, obvious scar. The new trans-oral approach, developed by a surgeon in Bangkok, Thailand, was designed to hide the scar. Instead, surgeons make the incision inside the mouth, at the crease between the gums and the lower lip.
“No one but your dentist will see this, and most dentists will not notice,” said Raymon Grogan, MD, assistant professor of surgery and director of the endocrine surgery research program at the University of Chicago. “Once the incisions have healed, patients cannot see them.”