Video-assisted surgery for thyroid cancer patients

Paolo Miccoli, Valeria Matteucci


Background: Today is well known that endoscopic thyroidectomy could reach the same level of completeness as a conventional operation. We have been using minimally invasive video assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT) as our favorite minimally invasive access to thyroid diseases from the late nineties.
Methods: Our experience with MIVAT is represented by 2,413 cases between 1998 and 2014: in particular 821 patients were operated with a total thyroidectomy for a papillary carcinoma (34.0%). Furthermore 967 patients underwent a MVAT for the presence of an undetermined lesion (40.0%).
Results: The conversion rate was very low: 24 patients (1.0%), mainly due to: unexpected posterior tracheal invasions (nine patients), involvement of lymph nodes not evident at echography (four patients), esophageal infiltration (three patients), strap muscles infiltration (three patients) and finally in five cases the presence of serious thyroiditis that had escaped to ultrasonographic evaluation.
Conclusions: The minimally MIVAT to treat malignant thyroid tumors has today a very clear indication for malignancies.