Below are examples of patients who have undergone minimally invasive thyroidectomy. Scars are shown in different age groups with different skin types and during different times in the healing process. You will note that as time from surgery increases, the color fades and the already tiny incisions becomes virtually invisible. Also, patients have been asked to stretch the neck to demonstrate the site of surgery. Under normal, relaxed conditions, incicions are almost impossible to find.
Minimally invasive total thyroidectomy scar in a woman in her 20's. This is approximately one year after surgery. The same woman is shown on the right in a photograph taken without flash to ensure that excess glare is not hiding the scar.
Total thyroidectomy scar in a much older patient in her 60's. Note that slight erythema is all that is left of the scar in the lower skin crease. Compare this patient to the one above to see the difference in skin types. You can see how much more difficult it is to hide a scar in younger, smoother skin.
Minimally invasive total thyroidectomy scar. This is a slightly longer scar (just over one inch) because this patient had an aggressive cancer and needed a central neck dissection in addition to removal of the thyroid gland.
Woman in her 40's 2 months after minimally invasive thyroidectomy. This patient returned earlier than usual for an unrelated problem and was kind enough to allow us to photograph her incision at the two month point. The fact that the incision is still red allows for exact measurement of length (around 2.9 cm). Over the next 4-6 months, the redness will disappear and the incision will become virtually invisible.
Woman in her 40's 6 months after minimally invasive thyroidectomy. This image is magnified to allow close inspection of the incision. Compared to the image above, you can see how much the redness has resolved and that the scare is well on its way to becoming invisible.
Woman in her 50's after minimally invasive left thyroidectomy. Note that darker skin will also show signs of inflammation around the incision. In this case, the skin has turned a slightly darker brown. Again, this will fade in a few months.
Woman in her 40's 6 months after minimally invasive total thyroidectomy.