Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Feb;21(2):416-25. doi: 10.1245/s10434-013-3234-9. Epub 2013 Aug 24.

A cost-minimization analysis comparing total thyroidectomy alone and total thyroidectomy with prophylactic central neck dissection in clinically nodal-negative papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Author information

Division of Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China,



Total thyroidectomy (TT) with prophylactic central neck dissection (pCND) remains controversial for clinically nodal-negative (cN0) papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), and the issue of cost rarely has been examined. We evaluated whether pCND at the time of TT is more cost-saving than TT alone in the medium- to long-term.


For a hypothetical group of 50-year-old females with a 1.5-cm cN0 PTC, a decision-tree model using TreeAge Software was developed to simulate outcomes and compare the 20-year accumulative direct cost between TT alone and TT+pCND strategies. Baseline values and ranges were determined from a systematic review of the literature. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to test model strength. Cost estimate of surgical procedures, complications, and radioiodine (RAI) ablation was based on government gazette.


The cost accrued per patient for the primary operation under TT alone and TT+pCND strategies were USD 6,702.81 and USD 10,062.35, respectively, whereas the cost for the reoperative procedure were USD 12,981.40 and USD 12,509.09, respectively. The 20-year accumulative cost for TT alone and TT+pCND strategies were USD 19,888.36 and USD 22,760.86, respectively. The incremental cost per patient was USD 2,872.50. In the univariate and bivariate sensitivity analyses, no change in conclusion was seen by varying the rates of complications, annualized locoregional recurrences and RAI, or by extending the model to 50 years.


From a pure economic institution's perspective, TT+pCND is more expensive in the medium- and long-term and seems less justified compared with TT alone for cN0 PTC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center