Vietnamese doctor develops internationally-acclaimed thyroid surgery technique

VietNamNet Bridge - After many years of research, Phan Hoang Hiep and his colleagues have developed the 1-trocar endoscopic thyroid surgical method, the first of its kind in the world.


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Mr Phan Hoang Hiep



Vietnam has taken pride in ‘exporting’ an endoscopic thyroid technique to the world over the last 15 years. The technique was first developed by Dr Tran Ngoc Luong, director of the Endocrinology Hospital.

The technique, named after Dr Luong, was transferred to Singapore, Portugal, Turkey, India, China, South Korea and Thailand. Foreign surgeons often come to Vietnam to learn the technique.

Around 7-10 percent of Vietnamese suffer from thyroid-related diseases such as goiter, thyroid cancer and thyroiditis. Of these, 70 percent of patients are women.

Traditional open surgery for the thyroid leaves a scar on the neck. The endoscopic technique helps ease pain for patients thanks to a minimally invasive area, reducing complications and ensuring a small scar. Luong’s technique lasts 20-30 minutes instead of two to three hours.

Traditional open surgery for the thyroid leaves a scar on the neck. The endoscopic technique helps ease pain for patients thanks to a minimally invasive area, reducing complications and ensuring a small scar. Luong’s technique lasts 20-30 minutes instead of two to three hours.

Based on Luong’s technique, Phan Hoang Hiep from the Endocrinology Hospital has developed a new endoscopic thyroid method, with only one trocar instead of three to five.

Vietnamese surgeons had used the 1-trocar technique in abdominal and thoracic endoscopy, but not for thyroid patients until Hiep invented the method.

The new technique has a great reputation in the global medical community. With the method, Vietnamese patients with thyroid nodules do not have to go abroad for medical treatment.

In 2018, the 1-trocar thyroid endoscopic technique was chosen as one of the 10 most outstanding scientific and technological achievements in Vietnam.

The new technique has been used on more than 40 patients so far. Most of them had benign thyroid nodules.

The Endocrinology Hospital in Hanoi receives the highest number of patients who undergo thyroid surgeries in the world, about 40 cases a day. 

Hiep said he wanted to invent a new method to better serve patients. With the new method, there is only one skin incision of 2.5-3 cm left on the patient after surgery.

With normal surgical method, patients have to stay in hospital for four to six days. With the new method, patients stay three to four days.

Le Van K, 46, a patient from Ha Dong district in Hanoi, said he was very satisfied with the surgery.

“When I woke up after the surgery, I could talk, eat and walk immediately. The method was really good,” he said.


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Kim Chi

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