Treatment of Low Risk DTC Patients

What is the Minimal Surgery for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma?

Eran Fridman and Ziv Gil


Although thyroid surgery for treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) has been practiced for more than 100 years, there is still controversy regarding the minimal surgery needed for cure. The main reason for this controversy is lack of prospective randomized trials. The data accumulated in the last four decades indicate that hemithyroidectomy can be sufficient and safely practiced in low-risk patients with PTC. Patients <45 years of age with a single tumor less than 2 cm, with no lymphatic spread, and in the absence of other risk factors, can be equally managed by hemithyroidectomy or total thyroidectomy. A slight increase in the risk of vocal cord paralysis and hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy suggests that hemi-thyroidectomy is appropriate for the management of patients with stage T1 disease. Any choice regarding the extent of surgery should be made with the patient and his family and in a multidisciplinary setup, which has been shown to improve decision-making procedures before the operation and during follow-up.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2016;7(1):e0005