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Transoral robotic resection of a lingual thyroid: a novel treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea
  1. Jon Curtis,
  2. Sophie Walford and
  3. David Howe
  1. ENT Department, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, Warwickshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jon Curtis; joncurtis101{at}


A 34-year-old woman with a history of congenital hypothyroidism and 15 years of obstructive sleep apnoea was admitted with a left submandibular swelling secondary to a dental infection. A CT scan of the neck identified an incidental 27 mm tongue base mass and the absence of any cervical thyroid tissue. This mass was not observable on examination of the oropharynx but was seen on fine nasendoscopy while thyroid function tests showed good thyroid stimulating hormone suppression. Her acute dental infection was treated and, following multidisciplinary team discussion, she was diagnosed with an ectopic lingual thyroid. She was offered different management options including no intervention and radio-iodide treatment but opted for transoral robotic resection. The lesion was resected en bloc with clear margins and histology confirmed lingual thyroid tissue. Since the procedure, she has remained free of sleep apnoea with a significantly improved quality of life.

  • otolaryngology / ENT
  • head and neck surgery
  • sleep disorders (respiratory medicine)
  • thyroid disease

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  • JC and SW are joint first authors.

  • JC and SW contributed equally.

  • Contributors All three provided significant contributions to the case report. JC and SW are joint first authors for the paper as they contributed equally to the write-up and review of literature. DH identified the case report topic and was involved in the concept, design, write-up, editing and review.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.