Riedel’s thyroiditis: impact and strategy of a challenging surgery
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No surgical standard for Riedel’s thyroiditis (RT) is established. Salvage surgery follows severe cervical and compressive airway symptoms or strong suspicion of malignancy. Obscured planes and multi-infiltrative extension prevent sufficient surgery with considerate complications. No alternative definitive treatment is available. In failing conservative treatment, the role of surgery in RT remains unclear.
Materials and methods
Clinical manifestation, treatment, outcome and follow-up in a unique series of eight consecutive patients with RT are presented.
Seven female patients and one male patient with cervical tumor growth or thyroiditis underwent four total and three sub-total thyroidectomies, respectively, one patient declined remedial surgery. Complications were one bilateral laryngeal nerve palsy and one transient hypoparathyroidism. Histology confirmed RT with perithyroidal extension and excluded malignancy in all. Symptomatic relief of cervical and airway obstruction was achieved in all. Follow-up revealed two extensive mediastinal RT recurrences 1 and 6 years after surgery.
Favourable symptomatic outcome and alleviation of steroids in the majority render surgery for RT valuable when conservative treatment fails. However, more radical procedures show no advantages and recurrences are not prevented. The demanding technique in RT requires special surgical expertise and highly recommends intra-operative neuromonitoring.
KeywordsRiedel’s thyroiditis Surgery Outcome Neuromonitoring
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