PURPOSE: Complication rate in reoperative central neck node surgery is one of the main arguments to favor prophylactic central neck dissection at first operation in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma. We evaluated if reoperative central neck dissection implies an increased postoperative morbidity. Secondarily, we aimed also to verify the effectiveness of the surgical resection of reoperative central neck dissection. METHODS: Forty-one patients who underwent reoperative central neck dissection after initial thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid carcinoma between January 2008 and May 2012 were compared to 41 controls who underwent central neck dissection at initial operation. RESULTS: The two groups were well matched for age, sex, and pN stage (P = 0.296, 0.199, and 1.000, respectively). Three patients had distant metastases at presentation. No significant difference was found concerning mean number of removed nodes (P = 0.064). No significant difference was found between the reoperative and the control groups concerning transient hypocalcemia (17 vs 19, respectively) (P = 0.901) and transient recurrent nerve palsy (2 vs 2) (P = 0.608). Follow-up was completed in 69 out of all the included patients (85.2 %). At a mean follow-up of 33 months, two patients (2.9 %) experienced nodal recurrence. CONCLUSIONS: Morbidity of central neck dissection is similar for primary surgery and reoperation. In high-volume centers, reoperative central neck dissection can be safely accomplished when needed, allowing to achieve locoregional control in most of patients.
- central neck dissection
- thyroid carcinoma