Safety and feasibility of elective minimally invasive video-assisted central neck dissection for thyroid carcinoma

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Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT) is accepted as treatment for select patients with thyroid carcinoma. We report both benefits and limitations of elective central neck dissection performed with the MIVAT technique.


Patients undergoing elective central neck dissection with MIVAT during November 2006 to October 2009 were studied retrospectively. Outcomes included complications and recurrence rates.


In all, 28 patients were studied. There were no recurrences, with median follow-up of 14 months. Eleven patients (39%) had positive central lymph nodes for metastases. No permanent hypocalcemia resulted, although 3 patients (10.7%) experienced transient hypocalcemia on postoperative day 1 (Ca <8 mg/dL). No permanent hypoparathyroidism resulted, although 7 patients (25%) had transient hypoparathyroidism (postanesthesia care unit parathyroid hormone [PTH] <8 mg/dL) treated with short-term supplementation. Transient recurrent laryngeal nerve paresis occurred in 1 patient (3.6%). At the most recent check, 91% of patients had low/undetectable (<1 ng/mL) thyroglobulin.


Elective central neck dissection performed with MIVAT is a safe and feasible procedure in our institutional experience.

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