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Am J Surg. 2007 Jan;193(1):114-8.

Minimally invasive video-assisted functional lateral neck dissection for metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Endocrine Surgery, Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, L. go A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy.


Functional lateral neck dissection requires a large incision providing adequate exposure of the surgical field. We evaluated the feasibility of minimally invasive video-assisted functional lateral neck dissection (VALNED) in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Low-risk PTC patients with lateral neck metastases <2 cm, in absence of any evidence of great vessels involvement, were considered eligible. After accomplishing total thyroidectomy and central neck clearance, dissection was performed under endoscopic vision by using a technique very similar to conventional surgery through the single 4-cm skin incision used for thyroidectomy. Two patients were selected: 1 underwent bilateral and 1 unilateral VALNED. The mean number of the removed nodes was 25 per side. Both patients experienced transient postoperative hypocalcemia. No other complication occurred. No evidence of residual or recurrent disease was found at follow-up. VALNED is feasible, and the results are encouraging. For definitive conclusions, larger series and comparative studies are necessary.

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