What are the surgical techniques used to perform total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC)?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020
  • Author: Ponnandai S Somasundar, MD, MPH, FACS; Chief Editor: Neetu Radhakrishnan, MD  more...
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When the primary tumor spreads outside the thyroid and involves adjacent vital organs (eg, larynx, trachea, esophagus), these organs are preserved at the first surgical approach. However, the surrounding soft tissues, including the muscles and involved areas of the trachea and/or esophagus, may be sacrificed if they are directly involved with the differentiated thyroid carcinoma and local resection is feasible.

Surgical techniques include video-assisted and robotic-assisted thyroidectomy. [47, 48] Video-assisted thyroidectomy is rarely used to treat thyroid cancer. A study by Lee et al found that the application of robotic technology to endoscopic thyroidectomy may overcome the limitations of conventional surgery, in a patient population where neck incision is considered culturally averse. However, additional complications such as brachial plexus injury may occur with this technique. [49]

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