Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Bredow, Tim


Background: With the growing popularity of robotic surgery, more research should be performed to compare the outcomes with the conventional, open approaches. In particular, comparison of postoperative pain is needed as it has significant implications for nursing practice. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review of the literature is to examine evidence on postoperative pain scores between the robotic thyroidectomy and the open approach. Results: Eighteen articles were identified for review and were analyzed using the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Research Evidence Appraisal tool (Dang & Dearholt, 2018). The literature revealed no significant differences in postoperative pain and discomfort between the robotic and open thyroidectomy groups. Using Margaret Dossey’s Theory of Integral Nursing (Tracy & DiNapoli, 2012), the nurse is encouraged to create a healing environment while developing a personalized pain management plan of care for the individual patient based on knowledge of the different surgical approaches (p.32). Conclusion: The literature review revealed very similar postoperative pain and discomfort between patients undergoing the robotic thyroidectomy and the conventional, open approach. The studies also maintain the robotic thyroidectomy as an acceptable, alternative method for the open thyroidectomy. Implications for Research and Practice: Recommendations for nursing research include a literature review and analysis of major findings on pain management interventions and analgesic regimens specific to thyroid surgery. As technology advances and surgical approaches continue to evolve, the Theory of Integral Nursing will guide the nurse in recognizing each patient as an individual with his or her own distinctive pain experience, while developing effective pain management interventions (Tracy & DiNapoli, 2012).

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons