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Minerva Chirurgica 2000 March;55(3):159-66

language: Italian

Surgical treatment of thyroid microcarcinomas

Allocca A., Bontà M., Bencini L., Catarzi S., Bianchi S., Vezzosi V., Pernice L. M.


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Thyroid microcarcinoma is nowaday defined as a tumor of one centimeter or less in the maximum diameter. It occurs in less than five per cent of all thyroid carcinomas. In personal experience four thyroid microcarcinomas have been found in specimens from 121 thyroidectomies and have been retrospectively reviewed clinical data and the long term follow-up of the patients. Total thyroidectomies nor prophylactic lymphadenectomies were never performed. All patients at present are well. Our purpose was to focus on the current surgical treatment of microcarcinoma. Many hypotheses are done to explain pathogenesis and fairly good prognosis of thyroid microcarcinomas, without univocal conclusions. Almost all authors agree that microcarcinoma of the thyroid gland is a low-aggressive tumor, with good biological behaviour, but the therapeutic strategies are not codified yet. Particularly, doubt still exists about the choice between total thyroidectomy and more conservative procedure, and lymphadenectomy, especially when tumor is found in specimens after surgery for benign disease. In conclusion, in our opinion conservative management is the best choice, provided that the patient is included in a correct long-term follow-up.

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