Endoscopic hemithyroidectomy with prophylactic ipsilateral central neck dissection via an unilateral axillo-breast approach without gas insufflation for unilateral micropapillary thyroid carcinoma: preliminary report
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Recently, various endoscopic approaches have been applied to thyroid surgery. However, few specific data exist on endoscopic thyroidectomy with central neck dissection (CND) for micropapillary thyroid carcinoma. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of endoscopic hemithyroidectomy (HT) plus CND.
In this study, 29 consecutive patients underwent endoscopic HT with ipsilateral CND via a unilateral axillo-breast approach (endo group), and 30 matched control patients underwent conventional open HT with ipsilateral CND (open group). The following variables were compared between these two groups: perioperative complications, surgery-related outcomes, and pathologic outcomes.
The operating time in the endo group was longer than in the open group (p = 0.012). In terms of parathyroid gland (PTG) preservation, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. The mean numbers of dissected central lymph nodes and metastatic central lymph nodes were similar in the two groups (p = 0.506 vs. 0.975). The endo group had a significantly longer mean hospital stay (6.21 ± 0.94 days) than the open group (4.30 ± 1.02 days; p = 0.000). No significant difference was observed in the overall perioperative complications between the two groups.
This study demonstrates that the endoscopic approach of CND plus HT is feasible for selected unilateral, intrathyroidal, micropapillary carcinomas. In the future, prospective and comparative studies on the surgical techniques of total thyroidectomy and CND are needed to verify their oncologic safety.