Chyle fistula is one of the rare complications of neck dissections. Even though no consented algorithm for the management of this entity has been established yet, conservative treatment options including somatostatin analogues have been suggested as an adequate modality for low output fistulas.
Here we present a patient with a right-sided neck fistula which was resistant to conventional treatment, and was finally treated by surgery. The neck dissection was performed for a malignant right neck mass that was accepted as the lymph node metastasis of formerly treated papillary thyroid carcinoma. The pathology of the specimen revealed a contralateral neck metastasis of previously treated breast carcinoma.
We assume that consecutive surgeries on axillary and neck lymph pathways resulted in such a complicated and exceptional case.
Chyle fistula; Breast cancer; Thyroid cancer
Chylous fistulas can occur after neck surgery. Both nonoperative measures and direct fistula ligation may lead to fistula resolution. However, a refractory fistula requires upstream thoracic duct ligation. This can be accomplished minimally invasively. Success depends on lymphatic flow interruption where the duct enters the thorax. We report on the utility of frozen section confirmation in achieving this goal.
Persistent chylous fistulas occurred in 2 patients after left cervical operations. In the first patient, attempted direct fistula ligation and sclerosant application failed. Fasting, parenteral nutrition, and somatostatin-analog provided no benefit. For the second patient, nonoperative treatment was also ineffective. Prior radiation therapy and multiple cervical operations militated against attempted direct fistula ligation. Both patients underwent thoracoscopic thoracic duct interruption.
In both cases, a duct candidate was identified between the aorta and azygos vein. Frozen section analysis of tissue resected between endoclips verified it as thoracic duct. Fistula resolution ensued promptly in both instances.
This report lends further credence to the efficacy of minimally invasive thoracic duct ligation in treating postoperative cervical chylous fistulas. Frozen section confirmation of thoracic duct tissue is useful. It allows one facile with thoracoscopy, but less familiar with thoracic duct ligation, to confidently terminate the operation.
Chylous fistula; Frozen section; Ligation; Thoracoscopy
A thoracic duct injury complicated with a chylous fistula is a rather rare occurrence associated with left subclavicular catheterization. We present a new method of its conservative management which seems to be the least interventional described so far. It can be used in cases of this iatrogenic injury irrespective of the rate of chyle loss.
PRESENTATION OF CASE
Our case report involves a 59-year-old patient with a high-output chyle fistula due to left subclavicular vein catheterization, in which biological cyanoacrylic glue was used through percutaneous infusion to the venous angle, where the thoracic duct was leaking. An extensive review of the relevant literature is presented.
Most of the high-output fistulas require a long time of conservative treatment, which may result in severe complications due to the prolongation of chyle loss. An operation may be needed in selected cases. Our proposed interventional method can be used in cases of percutaneous injury of a chyle duct, with immediate results.
An iatrogenic chyle fistula due to left subclavicular catheterization can be obtained with a percutaneous injection of biological glue directly onto the injured vessel.
Thoracic duct injury; Chyle fistula; Biological glue
A 26-year-old Asian male was found to have chyle leakage from the port incision after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for excision of pulmonary bullae. The diagnosis was confirmed by oral intake of Sudan black and by lymphoscintigraphy. The leakage resolved after 5 days of restricted oral intake and total parenteral nutrition. No leakage recurred after return of oral intake. Possible explanations for the port incision chyle leakage are obstruction of the thoracic duct, which induced retrograde drainage of the lymphoid fluid, or an aberrant collateral branch of the thoracic duct in the chest wall.
An 82-year-old patient underwent a mastectomy and axillary lymph node clearance for a large multicentric lobular cancer of the left breast. On day 11 after her operation, white viscous fluid was noted in her axillary drain.
We analysed case reports in the literature, noting the interval between surgery and diagnosis of chyle, the duration of the chyle leak, the volume of chyle during the first 24 h, the median volume and the administered treatment.
25 cases were reported in 13 publications. Our case was unusual in that chyle was noted 11 days after surgery. In most cases, chyle leakage subsides spontaneously by simply leaving the drain in situ.
A conservative observant approach appears appropriate in most cases. Only for persistent and large-volume leaks, dietary intervention (medium-chain lipid diet, nil by mouth, total parenteral nutrition) is justified. Surgery with re-exploration of the axilla and oversewing of the chyle duct can be used as the last reserve for persistent chyle leaks.
Breast cancer; Complication; Lymph node dissection; Parenteral nutrition; Breast neoplasm; Axillary clearance
Chylothorax is an extremely rare but potentially life-threatening complication after radical neck dissection. We report the case of a bilateral chylothorax after total thyroidectomy and cervico-central and cervico-lateral lymphadenectomy for thyroid carcinoma.
A 40-year-old European woman underwent total thyroidectomy and neck dissection for papillary thyroid carcinoma. Postoperatively she developed dyspnoea and pleural effusion. A chylothorax was found and the initial conservative therapy was not successful. She had to be operated on again and the thoracic duct was legated.
The case presentation reports a very rare complication after total thyroidectomy and neck dissection, but it has to be kept in mind to prevent dangerous complications.
Thyroidectomy; Neck dissection; Bilateral chylothorax
Chylous ascites as a result of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) is a rare complication which carries significant morbidity, including severe protein-calorie malnutrition and an associated immunocompromised state. We report a patient who underwent hand-assisted left LDN and subsequently developed chylous ascites. He failed conservative therapy including low-fat diet with medium-chain triglycerides (LFD/MCT) and oral protein supplementation as well as strict NPO status with intravenous (IV) total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and subcutaneous (SQ) somatostatin analogue administration. Laparoscopic re-exploration and intracorporeal suture ligation and clipping of leaking lymph channels successfully sealed the chyle leak. We review the literature to date including diagnosis, incidence, management options, psychosocial aspects and clinical outcomes of chylous ascites after LDN.
Chylous ascites; donor nephrectomy; living kidney donor complications
Many low-risk patients with solitary papillary thyroid cancer located in one lobe had undergone surgery that was less extensive than hemithyroidectomy in China. An acceptable completion surgery regimen was suggested for these patients based on our experience. A total of 117 enrolled patients underwent completion surgery. Thirty-two patients had prior tumor resection, 46 patients had prior partial thyroidectomy and 39 patients had prior subtotal thyroidectomy. No neck dissection was performed. Reoperation was scheduled a median of 1.2 months (range, 3 days–6.5 months) after primary surgery for papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Among the 117 patients, residual tumor was pathologically confirmed in 60 patients, with a residual rate of 51.28%. Among these 60 patients, residual tumor was identified in the thyroid bed alone in 18 patients and in compartment VI alone in 28 patients, while 14 patients exhibited residual tumor in both of these regions. Lymph node metastasis was observed in compartment VI in 42 patients (35.90%), and an average of 6.5 nodes were removed (range, 2–14 nodes for each patient). Additionally, 3.14 positive lymph nodes were removed on average from each of the 42 patients. We conclude that the completion regimen, including the ipsilateral residual lobe, the isthmus and ipsilateral compartment VI (prelaryngeal, pretracheal and paratracheal lymph nodes), is reasonable and acceptable for low-risk patients undergoing surgery that is less extensive than hemithyroidectomy.
papillary thyroid cancer; central compartment; lobectomy
Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) is an established operation for organ procurement in living donor transplantation. Living donor renal transplantation is being performed more frequently and is associated with better graft function and survival. The minimal access approach for organ procurement from healthy individuals ensures early convalescence and improved patient participation. Here we describe a rare complication of LDN. Postoperative chylous ascites frequently occurs secondary to aortic surgery. Though previously described after LDN, its treatment remains contentious. Conventional strategies have adopted an expectant approach with medical management. These include parenteral feeding, bowel rest and somatostatin analogue usage. We report laparoscopic suture ligation as the principal management of postoperative chyle leak. We advocate surgical exploration in acute onset, high output chylous ascites. Pre-existing port site incisions were used for undertaking successful laparoscopic repair. This surgical approach enabled faster convalescence and reduced hospital stay—important considerations for our healthy living donor.
Thyroglossal duct cysts are the most common form of congenital cysts on the neck. The incidence of thyroid papillary carcinoma in thyroglossal duct cyst is less than 1%. In most cases the diagnosis is made postoperatively. We present a 22-year-old female with thyroid papillary carcinoma arising from thyroglossal duct cyst,identified in pathologic study after sistrunk operation.In our case there was neither invasion to adjacent tissue nor lymph node involvement.The patient then underwent total thyroidectomy and bilateral neck dissection. The patient was treated with radioactive iodide and thyroid suppression therapy was given as adjuvant treatment.The patient has been following for two years without any metastasis.
Thyroglossal duct cyst; thyroid papillary carcinoma; thyroidectomy
This is a case report of a 44-year-old woman with papillary carcinoma of a thyroglossal duct cyst.
A 44 year-old woman presented to the otolaryngology outpatient clinic with an asymptomatic anterior midline neck mass. A cervical ultrasound showed a lesion which appeared to be a thyroglossal duct cyst and surgical resection using Sistrunk's procedure was performed. The histopathologic diagnosis showed papillary carcinoma evolving from a thyroglossal duct cyst, confined to the thyroglossal cyst, with a tumor diameter of 2 cm. The patient then underwent total thyroidectomy and bilateral neck dissection. The final pathology reported an 8 mm papillary cancer in the left lobe of the thyroid without any metastasis to the cervical lymph nodes. The patient was treated with radioactive iodide and thyroid suppresion therapy was given as adjuvant treatment. The patient has been following for two years without any metastasis.
Malignancy within a thyroglossal duct cyst is very rare but should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a midline neck mass.
Cervical lymph node metastases in papillary thyroid cancer are common. Although central neck dissection is indicated in clinically nodal-positive disease, it remains controversial in patients with no clinical evidence of nodal metastasis. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the outcomes of clinically lymph node-negative patients with papillary thyroid cancer who underwent total thyroidectomy without a central neck dissection, in order to determine the rates of recurrence and reoperation in these patients compared with a group of patients submitted to total thyroidectomy with central neck dissection.
Two-hundred and eighty-five patients undergoing total thyroidectomy with preoperative diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer, in the absence of suspicious nodes, were divided in two groups: those who underwent a thyroidectomy only (group A; n = 220) and those who also received a central neck dissection (group B; n = 65).
Six cases (2.1%) of nodal recurrence were observed: 4 in group A and 2 in group B. Tumor histology was associated with risk of recurrence: Hürthle cell-variant and tall cell-variant carcinomas were associated with a high risk of recurrence. Multifocality and extrathyroidal invasion also presented a higher risk, while smaller tumors were at lower risk.
The role of prophylactic central lymph node dissection in the management of papillary thyroid cancer remains controversial. Total thyroidectomy appears to be an adequate treatment for clinically node-negative papillary thyroid cancer. Prophylactic central neck dissection could be considered for the more appropriate selection of patients for radioiodine treatment and should be reserved for high-risk patients only. No clinical or pathological factors are able to predict with any certainty the presence of nodal metastasis. In our experience, tumor size, some histological types, multifocality, and locoregional infiltration are related to an increased risk of recurrence. The potential use of molecular markers will hopefully offer a further strategy to stratify the risk of recurrence in patients with papillary thyroid cancer and allow a more tailored approach to offer prophylactic central neck dissection to patients with the greatest benefit. Multi-institutional larger studies with longer follow-up periods are necessary to draw definitive conclusions.
Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Central neck dissection; Total thyroidectomy
The intra- and postoperative complications resulting from surgery for giant thyroid gland tumors (diameter greater than 10 cm) present serious challenges to patient recovery. Although there are a number of methods, all have limitations. In this study, we present our experience with several complications of surgical treatment of giant thyroid gland tumors to increase the awareness and aid the prevention of these complications. A total of 137 consecutive patients who underwent surgical treatment in Henan Tumor Hospital were retrospectively analyzed. Statistics pertaining to the patients’ clinical factors were gathered. We found that the most common surgical complications were recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury and symptomatic hypoparathyroidism. Other complications included incision site infections, bleeding, infection and chyle fistula, the incidence of which increased significantly with increasing extent of surgery from group I (near-total thyroidectomy) to group V (total thyroidectomy plus lateral neck dissection). Low complication rates may be achieved with more accurate knowledge of the surgical anatomy, skilled surgical treatment and experience. More extensive surgery results in a greater number of complications.
complications; giant thyroid gland; recurrent laryngeal nerve; hypoparathyroidism
The aim of this study was to investigate the complications following surgical treatment of thyroid cancer and the association between the extent of surgery and complication rates. A total of 2,636 patients who underwent surgery due to thyroid cancer were retrospectively reviewed to identify surgical complications. Complication rates were assessed according to the extent of surgery, which was classified as follows; less-than-total thyroidectomy with central compartment node dissection (CCND) (Group I, n=636), total thyroidectomy with CCND (Group II, n=1,390), total thyroidectomy plus ipsilateral neck dissection (Group III, n=513), and total thyroidectomy plus bilateral neck dissection (Group IV, n=97). The most common surgical complication was symptomatic hypoparathyroidism, of which 28.4% of cases were transient and 0.3% permanent. The other surgical complications included vocal cord palsy (0.7% transient, and 0.2% permanent), hematoma (0.5%), seroma (4.7%), chyle fistula (1.8%), and Horner's syndrome (0.2%). The complication rates increased significantly with increasing the extent of surgery from Group I to Group IV. The more extensive surgery makes more complications, such as hypoparathyroidism, seroma, and others.
Intraoperative Complications; Thyroid Neoplasms; Thyroidectomy; Lymph Node Excision
The purpose of the study was to assess the feasibility of secondary neck dissections (ND) in different types of thyroid cancer (TC), to evaluate the influence of ND extent on morbidity and to describe biochemical and clinical outcomes. 51 patients previously operated for TC (33-well differentiated TC-WDTC, 15 medullary TC-MTC, 3 poorly differentiated TC-PDTC) presenting detectable nodal disease. Reoperations covered I–VII neck levels. Radical neck dissection was performed in 22 patients, selective neck dissection in 29 patients. 14 central compartment (CC), 10 mediastinal and 41 level IV excisions were performed. Postoperative complications occurred in 13 patients: 4 chyle leaks, 3 massive bleedings, 8 permanent vocal cord pareses, hypoparathyroidism in 22 patients (43.1 %), 2 patients expired in perioperative period. In WDTC: in seven patients thyroglobulin level normalized directly after ND, in ten patients in the follow-up; six patients developed distant metastases. None of the patients with MTC achieved calcitonin level <10 pg/ml; nine patients developed distant metastases. None of the patients with PDTC achieved Tg <2 mg/ml; two patients died, the third developed distant metastases. Secondary ND in TC present a challenge by means of surgical approach and possibility of complications. In MTC and PDTC the long-term results were unsatisfactory. In WDTC, the secondary ND should be performed due to strong indications. Metastases localization in levels IV, VI, VII were connected with high complication rate, but these surgeries were crucial for satisfactory oncological outcomes.
Thyroid cancer; Nodal metastases; Neck dissection
Prophylactic central neck dissection in papillary thyroid cancer is controversial. In this retrospective cohort study, the aim was to assess possible advantages of prophylactic central neck dissection with total thyroidectomy in cN0 papillary thyroid cancer. A total of 244 consecutive patients with papillary thyroid cancer, without clinical and ultrasound nodal metastases (cN0), were evaluated out of 1373 patients operated for a thyroid disease at the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milan, Italy from 1994 to 2006. Of these 244 patients, 126 (Group A) underwent thyroidectomy with central neck dissection, while 118 (Group B) underwent thyroidectomy alone. Demographic, clinical and pathological features were analysed. Overall recurrence rate was 6.3% (8/126) in Group A and 7.7% (9/118) in Group B, with a mean follow-up of 47 (Group A) and 64 (Group B) months. In Group A patients, 47% were pN1a and all patients with recurrence had nodal involvement (p = 0.002). Survival rate did not differ in the two groups. Nine patients were lost to follow-up. Group A patients were older and their tumours were larger in size; according to the pT distribution, a higher extra-capsular invasion rate was observed. The two groups were equivalent as far as concerns histological high risk variants and multifocality. Nodal metastases correlated with stage: pT1-2 vs. pT3-T4a, p = 0.0036. A lower risk of nodal metastases was related to thyroiditis (p = 0.0034). In conclusion, central neck metastases were predictive of recurrence without influencing prognosis. From data obtained, possible greatest efficacy of central neck dissection in pT3-4 papillary thyroid cancer without thyroiditis is suggested.
Thyroid; Papillary thyroid cancer; Nodal metastases; Central neck dissection
Background: Central lymph node dissection (CND) has been proposed in the treatment of patients affected by papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) with clinically negative neck lymph nodes. The procedure allows pathologic staging of lymph nodes of the central compartment and treatment of the micrometastases. By comparing bilateral and unilateral thymectomy during total thyroidectomy with central lymph node dissection for postoperative complications in sonographically node-negative papillary thyroid carcinomas, we aimed to determine the optimal extent of prophylactic central lymph node dissection. Methods: Patients were divided into two study groups: Group 1, total thyroidectomy plus unilateral thymectomy during the CND; Group 2, total thyroidectomy associated with bilateral thymectomy (both upper poles) during the CND. Primary endpoints of the study were evaluated by comparing the postoperative complications between the two groups. Results: The only significant result found when comparing the two groups was the rate of transient hypocalcemia. (Group 1: 13.7%, Group 2: 52.4%, p<0.01). A total of five cases of papillary thymic metastases were found in this study. And final pathology confirmed that all cases of thymic metastases were lymph node micrometastases of PTC, only situated in the ipsilateral thymus upper pole. Conclusions: Bilateral thymectomy during the CND did not provide a better carcinologic resection, as no contralateral thymic metastases were found. The unilateral thymectomy with total thyroidectomy during the CND may represent an effective strategy for reducing the rate of postoperative hypocalcemia.
Thymectomy; papillary thyroid cancer; lymph node dissection
Lymphatic leakage is a rare complication of thyroid surgery, the risk of which increases in the presence of malignancy and correlates with the extent of surgery. Although primarily associated with left-sided thoracic duct injuries, lymphatic leaks may occur following right-sided neck dissections for metastatic thyroid cancer. However, the development of a lymphocele following a right-sided lobectomy for benign disease is exceptionally rare. The authors present the case of a patient who developed a cervical lymphocele 10 days after a re-operative right thyroid lobectomy for a multinodular goitre. The patient was successfully managed conservatively with a combination of dietary modification and high-dose octreotide. The reason for her presentation was most likely the result of an occult injury to a congenitally-aberrant lymphatic duct, brought into the operative field by postsurgical adhesions. The case serves to highlight the importance of subtle variations in lymphatic anatomy in the context of a re-operative thyroidectomy.
Papillary thyroid microcarcinomas are tumors often found accidentally after thyroidectomy for other thyroid disorders.
Patients with enlarged lateral cervical masses, with unknown thyroid disease, found to have metastases from papillary thyroid carcinoma ≤10 mm in diameter, were compared to patients operated on for nodular or multinodular goiter, who were incidentally found to have papillary thyroid microcarcinomas.
Group A included 24 patients with an enlarged lateral cervical mass whereas group B included 30 patients presenting with nodular or multinodular goiter. Patients in both groups underwent surgery. After thyroidectomy and lymph node dissection, pathology revealed multifocal papillary carcinomas of 1–10 mm, with invasion of the thyroid capsule and surrounding soft tissue in most of the cases in group A. Two patients presented with distant metastases at diagnosis which were surgically removed. During follow up, 3 patients (12.5%) presented with new cervical metastases which were surgically removed or treated with additional radioactive iodine. At last follow-up, all patients were alive. In contrast, all patients in group B had unifocal papillary thyroid carcinoma 1–10 mm in maximum diameter, with no infiltration or extension into the adjacent tissue, or cervical lymph node metastases.
Two groups of papillary thyroid microcarcinomas characterized by different clinical and biological behaviours are identified. Significant differences were found between these groups concerning the age, tumor size, number of tumor foci, lymph nodes metastases and extrathyroidal extension of the tumor. Papillary thyroid carcinomas of small (≤10 mm) size may have aggressive behaviour or be metastatic, and this subgroup should be treated and followed up as are other large, differentiated thyroid cancers.
A case report of a chyle leak following radical neck dissection for residual lymph nodal disease performed after chemoradiation for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. This is the first case report of the use of cyanoacrylate for a persistent chyle leak following radical neck dissection.
Total thyroidectomy is currently the preferred treatment for thyroid cancer, multinodular goitre and Graves disease; however, many surgeons choose not to perform total thyroidectomy to treat benign thyroid diseases owing to the associated risk of postoperative hypoparathyroidism and recurrent laryngeal nerve damage. We reviewed 932 total thyroidectomies performed for benign thyroid diseases when surgery was indicated. We sought to assess whether the results support the hypothesis that total thyroidectomy is safe and can be considered as the optimal surgical approach for treating benign thyroid diseases.
A total of 932 patients underwent thyroidectomy between 1985 and 2005. We excluded patients with thyroid cancer or suspicion of thyroid malignancy. We evaluated indications for total thyroidectomy, cancer incidence, complication rates, local recurrence rate and long-term outcome after total thyroidectomy.
Diagnoses before surgery were multinodular goitre (n = 734, 78.8%), Graves disease (n = 166, 17.8%) and recurrent (after previous partial thyroidectomy) nodular goitre (n = 32, 3.4%). The incidence of permanent bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy was 0% and that of permanent unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy was 0.2%, whereas the incidence of temporary unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy was 1.3%. Permanent hypocalcemia occurred in 0.3% and overall temporary hypocalcemia occurred in 7.3% of patients. Hemorrhage requiring repeat surgery occurred in 0.2% of patients. There was no wound infection, and postoperative mortality was 0%. We observed no disease recurrences during a median follow-up of 9 (range 2–20) years.
Total thyroidectomy is safe and is associated with a low incidence of disabilities. Complication rates for recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy and hypoparathyroidism are similar to results of specialist endocrine surgery units. Furthermore, total thyroidectomy seems to be the optimal procedure, when surgery is indicated, for Graves disease and multinodular goitre, as total thyroidectomy has the advantages of immediate and permanent cure and no recurrences.
Thyroid carcinoma is rare comprising 1% of all malignancies and commonly presents as a neck lump. Papillary thyroid carcinoma unlike follicular thyroid carcinoma tends not to metastasise to distant sites.
We present a case of papillary thyroid carcinoma presenting as a solitary asymptomatic pelvic bone metastases and highlight current management of bone metastases. A 59-year old female was found on abdominal computerised tomography to have an incidental finding of a 4.5 cm soft tissue mass in the right iliac bone. Biopsy of the lesion confirmed metastatic thyroid carcinoma. There was no history of a neck lump, head and neck examination was normal. Further imaging confirmed focal activity in the right lobe of the thyroid. A total thyroidectomy and level VI neck dissection was performed and histology confirmed follicular variant of papillary carcinoma.
Early detection of bone metastases have been shown to improve prognosis and thyroid carcinoma should be considered as a potential primary malignancy.
Robotic surgery is an innovation in thyroid surgery that may compensate for the drawbacks of conventional endoscopic surgery. A surgical robot provides strong advantages, including three-dimensional imaging, motion scaling, tremor elimination, and additional degrees of freedom. We review here recent adaptations, experience and applications of robotics in thyroid surgery. Robotic thyroid surgeries include thyroid lobectomy, total thyroidectomy, central compartment neck dissection, and radical neck dissection for benign and malignant thyroid diseases. Most of the current literature consists of case series of robotic thyroidectomies. Recent retrospective and prospective analyses have evaluated the safety and oncologic efficacy of robotic surgery for thyroid cancer. Although robotic thyroid surgery is often associated with longer operation times than conventional open surgery, robotic techniques have shown similar or superior levels of surgical completeness and safety compared with conventional open or endoscopic surgery. Compared to open thyroidectomy, robotic thyroidectomy has been associated with several quality-of-life benefits, including excellent cosmetic results, reduced neck pain and sensory changes, and decreased voice and swallowing discomfort after surgery. For surgeons, robotic surgery has improved ergonomics and has a shorter learning curve than open or endoscopic surgery. The advantages of robotic thyroid surgery over conventional surgery suggest that robotic thyroidectomy with or without neck dissection may become the preferred surgical option for thyroid diseases. Robotic thyroid surgery will likely continue to develop as more endocrine and head-and-neck surgeons are trained and more patients seek this newly developed surgical option.
Robot; Thyroid; Thyroidectomy; Robotic thyroidectomy; Neck dissection; Robotic neck dissection
A non-recurrent variant of the inferior laryngeal nerve has been seldom reported. These reports are mostly based on cadaveric dissection studies or large chart review studies in which the emphasis is placed on the determination of the frequency of the variation, and not on the clinical appearance of this variant. We graphically describe the intraoperative identification of a non-recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve.
A 44-year old Caucasian man was referred to the Head and Neck Surgery Outpatient Clinic with the diagnosis of a nodular mass in his left thyroid lobe that had been growing for one year. A fine needle aspiration puncture was compatible with thyroid papillary cancer. It was decided that the patient should undergo total thyroidectomy. During surgery, a non-recurrent right inferior laryngeal nerve was noted. This nerve emanated from the right vagus nerve, entering the larynx 3 cm after its origin. The nerve did not show a recurrent course. The nerve on the left side had a normal configuration. The surgery and post-operative period were uneventful, and the patient had no change in his voice.
This paper allows those interested to become acquainted with the normal intraoperative appearance of a non-recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve. This will undoubtedly be of significance for all of those performing invasive diagnostic and surgical procedures in the neck and upper thoracic regions, in order to minimize the risk of iatrogenic injury to this nerve. This is of extreme importance, since a unilateral lesion of this nerve may result in permanent hoarseness, and a bilateral lesion may lead to aphonia and life-threatening dyspnea.
A 75-year-old woman who underwent a total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid cancer 7 years previously presented with a palpable neck mass. Computed tomography (CT) showed two metastatic masses on the thyroid bed and another mass that looked benign originating from the esophageal wall. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) showed a hypoechoic mass in the esophageal wall that looked similar to a gastrointestinal stromal tumor. The mass on the esophagus had intense fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake in positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT), which suggested the possibility of malignancy. Subsequently, after surgery, the mass in the esophagus was confirmed as a metastasis from the thyroid papillary carcinoma. Here we report this unusual case of papillary thyroid cancer that recurred as an esophageal submucosal tumor.
Esophagus; Papillary thyroid cancer