Journal Article
Observational Study
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Outcome of Cervical Lymph Nodes Dissection for Thyroid Cancer with Nodal Metastases: A Southeast Asian 3-Year Experience.

Introduction: Therapeutic nodal dissection is still the mainstay of treatment for patients with lymph node metastases in many centres. The local data, however, on the outcome of therapeutic LND remains limited. Hence, this study aims to inform practice by presenting the outcomes of LND for thyroid cancer patients and our experience in a tertiary referral centre.

Methods: This is a single-centre retrospective observational study in a Malaysian tertiary endocrine surgery referral centre. Patients who underwent total thyroidectomy with lymph node dissection between years 2013 and 2015 were included and electronic medical records over a 3-year follow-up period were reviewed. The outcomes of different lymph node dissection (LND), including central neck dissection, lateral neck dissection, or both, were compared.

Results: Of the 43 subjects included, 28 (65.1%) had Stage IV cancer. Among the 43 subjects included, 8 underwent central LND, and 15 had lateral LND while the remaining 20 had dissection of both lateral and central lymph nodes. Locoregional recurrence was found in 16 (37.2%) of our subjects included, with no statistical difference between the central (2/8), lateral (7/15), and both (7/20). Postoperative hypocalcaemia occurred in 7 (16.3%) patients, and vocal cord palsy occurred in 5 (11.6%), whereas 9 patients (20.9%) required reoperation. Death occurred in 4 of our patients.

Conclusion: High recurrence and reoperative rates were observed in our centre. While the routine prophylactic LND remains controversial, high risk patients may be considered for prophylactic LND. The long-term risk and benefit of prophylactic LND with individualised patient selection in the local setting deserve further studies.

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