Endoscopic Lateral Neck Dissection (IIA, IIB, III, and IV) Using a Breast Approach: Outcomes From a Series of the First 24 Cases

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Introduction:In order to avoid large neck scar caused by conventional lateral neck dissection. We have explored and introduced endoscopic lateral neck dissection (IIA, IIB, III, and IV) using a breast approach. Now, we summarized and shared the outcomes of the first 24 cases.Materials and Methods:All the patients were treated in our institute from January 2017 to May 2018, and followed-up for more than 1 year. The details of patients and this technique have been summarized and analyzed retrospectively.Results:A series of first 24 cases were successfully managed with this technique, and no cases were converted to an open approach. Among these 24 patients, levels III + IV dissection had been performed in 6 patients and levels II+III+IV dissection had been performed in 18 patients. The mean age, body mass index, and sex were 39.3±10.5 years old, 24.1±3.5, and 2 male/22 female, respectively. The average operative time of total operation and lateral neck dissection was 238.8±37.2 minutes and 128.8±21.1 minutes, respectively. The mean dissected lateral lymph nodes were 5.9±2.2 (level II) in 18 cases and 15.9±3.9 (levels III+IV) in 24 cases. In addition, with no severe complications to date, such as asphyxia, main nerves injury (cervical plexus, vagus nerve, etc.), and permanent hypoparathyroidism, nor permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, and so on. However, unexpectedly, had some mild and common complications like transient hypocalcemia in 4 cases (16.67%), transient horse 1 case (4.2%), controllable lymphatic leakage in 2 cases (8.3%), and controllable jugular vein injury in 2 cases (8.3%). One year after the operation, 1 case found lung metastasis but no local recurrence. In other 23 patients, no recurrence/metastasis and the average of serum thyroglobulin is 3.2±3.8 ng/mL.Conclusions:This technique can yield adequate oncological dissection for selected patients. Endoscopic thyroidectomy along with lateral neck dissection using a breast approach may provide an option for selected patients who favor avoiding a visible neck incision.

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