Background: A decade after nearly all surgical disciplines developed minimally invasive techniques, the first report of a single case of minimally invasive thyroidectomy was published. Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT) is now considered the most widely practiced and most easily reproducible minimally invasive procedure for thyroidectomy. The aim of this review was to analyze the treatment of benign thyroid diseases by MIVAT. Methods: A systematic evidence-based literature review focusing on three questions was carried out. Additional data were obtained on the basis of our personal experience. (1) Are minimally invasive procedures indicated in the treatment of thyroid diseases? (2) Is MIVAT a safe technique and what are the demonstrated advantages? (3) Since different thyroid diseases may be treated by MIVAT, is it of any value in the treatment of benign thyroid diseases? Results: MIVAT can be considered an appropriate treatment of some thyroid diseases; it represents a safe procedure with the same incidence of complications as traditional surgery, and also has advantages in terms of both cosmetic result and postoperative distress. Conclusions: In spite of an increasing trend toward performing more extensive procedures other than thyroidectomy alone during videoscopic procedures, the current literature seems to reaffirm that the main and safest indication for MIVAT is benign disease.
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