BACKGROUND:Although video-assisted (VA) thyroidectomy emerged as effective treatment for selected patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), some concerns remain about obtaining adequate central neck node clearance. We compared patients who underwent VA and conventional total thyroidectomy (TT) and central compartment dissection (CCD) for PTC. METHODS: A total of 52 consecutive patients successfully underwent VA-TT and VA-CCD for PTC (VA group) were compared to 52 controls who underwent conventional TT and CCD (C group) for PTC. RESULTS: The two groups were matched for age (p = 0.75), sex (p = 0.07), and tumor size (p = 1.0). Operating time (p = 0.23), overall postoperative complications (p = 0.41), pT (p = 0.44), and pN (p = 0.84) were similar in the two groups. The mean number of removed nodes was similar (10.6 ± 4.6 in VA group vs. 12.2 ± 5.6 in C group) (p = 0.11).Mean postoperative serum thyroglobulin (sTg) off levothyroxine (LT4) suppressive treatment was 3.2 ± 5.0 ng/ ml in the VA group and 2.6 ± 7.4 ng/ml in the C-group (P = 0.67). Mean postoperative radioiodine uptake (RAIU) was similar in the two groups (1.5 ± 1.3 vs. 1.7 ± 1.3%) (p = 0.49). When pN1a patients alone were considered, no difference was found between the VA group (21 patients) and the controls (24 patients) concerning the mean number of removed nodes (10.3 ± 4.1 vs. 12.4 ± 5.6) (p = 0.16), the mean sTg off LT4 (4.4 ± 6.0 vs. 1.9 ± 2.7 ng/ml) (p = 0.07) and the mean RAIU (1.9 ± 1.5 vs. 1.7% ± 1.3%) (p = 0.63). CONCLUSIONS: The results of VA-TT and CCD in selected cases of PTC appear to be comparable to those of conventional surgery. A longer follow-up and larger series are necessary to draw definitive conclusions concerning longterm outcomes.
- central compartment dissection
- central neck dissection
- thyroid carcinoma