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Minerva Endocrinologica 2009 March;34(1):71-80

language: English

Video-assisted surgery: what is its role in the treatment of thyroid carcinoma?

Miccoli P., Ambrosini C. E., Berti P.

Department of Surgery University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy


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Thyroid carcinoma can be divided in two main groups, differentiated, with a good prognosis and an average 10 years survival ranging from 70% to 95%, and undifferentiated which is lethal in few months. Differentiated thyroid carcinoma can be distinguished in those variants coming from follicular cells (papillary and follicular) and those from C cell (medullary carcinoma). Surgical approach represents the first step in the treatment of thyroid carcinoma. Minimally-invasive endoscopic technique can be applied only to a minority of case, the so called “low risk” carcinoma according to AGES and AMES criteria. During the last ten years many different endoscopic approaches have been proposed for the treatment of thyroid carcinoma and the minimally invasive videoassisted (MIVAT) by Prof Miccoli is undoubtly the one which resulted to be the most successful and spread all over the world. Through a 1.5 cm central skin incision 2 cm above the sternal notch MIVAT allows to perform a total thyroidectomy for low risk papillary carcinoma with a completeness similar to that of conventional thyroidectomy. Using the same central access it is also possible to perfom a prophylactic central neck dissection for RET gene positive carriers. A lateral neck minimally invasive videoassisted lymphadenectomy is under development for those patients with low risk papillary carcinoma and isolated lateral lymph node metastasis.

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