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see many patients with thyroid nodules at Rockwood every month. To be an appropriate candidate for robotic thyroidectomy, patients must have the right type of nodule, be in good general health and meet set height and weight requirements. Above all, we want this operation to have clear benefits for each patient.” Those benefits include quicker healing and


recovery time, less swelling and soreness in the throat, not to mention a greater aesthetic outcome. “There’s no scar on the neck,” says Dr. Sinha, “which is a huge benefit for young


(509) 489-3554 220 E Rowan, Suite 300 • Spokane, WA 99207


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patients – especially women. In addition, scarring on the neck can also lead to swallowing problems. Without the incision in the neck, those problems can be avoided.” While some patients may be hesitant about


trying robotic surgery, it is becoming the norm in several areas of medicine, including heart, prostate and gynecologic surgeries. “Robotic thyroidectomies are just as safe as the traditional method,” says Dr. Sinha. “With the 3-D camera and the magnified vision, surgeons also have improved visualization of the surgical area. With the improved ability to see, the procedure is safer and the risk of nerve injury is diminished.”


TWO PATIENTS, TWO SUCCESS STORIES For Leach and Sallquist, the first two


patients in Eastern Washington to undergo the robotic thyroidectomy procedure, the results were more than satisfactory. “From an aesthetic standpoint, it has obvious advantages because you won’t have a scar in the middle of your neck,” says Leach. “I don’t scar well. I have other scars that have stayed red for years and have never faded to a light white color. If I have to have a scar, I’d rather have it under my arm than in a visible location on my neck.”


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10 South Post Street • Spokane • Washington • 99201 (509) 747-3529


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