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1.  Chyle Leak Following Axillary Lymph Node Clearance – a Benign Complication: Review of the Literature 
Breast Care  2011;6(2):130-132.
Case Report
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.
PMCID: PMC3104904  PMID: 21673824
Breast cancer; Complication; Lymph node dissection; Parenteral nutrition; Breast neoplasm; Axillary clearance
2.  Thoracoscopic Ligation of the Thoracic Duct 
When nonoperative treatment of chylothorax fails, thoracic duct ligation is usually performed through a thoracotomy. We describe two cases of persistent chylothorax, in a child and an adult, successfully treated with thoracoscopic ligation of the thoracic duct.
A 4-year-old girl developed a right chylothorax following a Fontan procedure. Aggressive nonoperative management failed to eliminate the persistent chyle loss. A 72-year-old insulin-dependent diabetic man was involved in a motor vehicle accident, in which he sustained multiple fractured ribs, a right hemopneumothorax, a right femoral shaft fracture, and a T-11 thoracic vertebral fracture. Subsequently, he developed a right chylothorax, which did not respond to nonoperative management. Both patients were successfully treated with thoracoscopic ligation of the thoracic duct.
The child had significant decrease of chyle drainage following surgery. Increased drainage that appeared after the introduction of full feedings five days postoperatively was controlled with the somatostatin analog octreotide. The chest tube was removed two weeks after surgery. After two years' follow-up, she has had no recurrence of chylothorax. The adult had no chyle drainage following surgery. He was maintained on a medium-chain triglyceride diet postoperatively for two weeks. The chest tube was removed four days after surgery. After six months' follow-up, he has had no recurrence of chylothorax.
Thoracoscopic ligation of the thoracic duct provides a safe and effective treatment of chylothorax and may avoid thoracotomy and its associated morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3113177  PMID: 10987402
Chylothorax; Thoracic duct; Ligation; Thoracoscopy; Child; Adult
3.  Postoperative Complications of Thyroid Cancer in a Single Center Experience 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(4):541-545.
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.
PMCID: PMC2844597  PMID: 20357995
Intraoperative Complications; Thyroid Neoplasms; Thyroidectomy; Lymph Node Excision
4.  Thoracic duct injury due to left subclavicular vein catheterization: A new conservative approach to a chyle fistula using biological glue 
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3356535  PMID: 22561237
Thoracic duct injury; Chyle fistula; Biological glue
5.  Thoracoscopic Thoracic Duct Ligation for Persistent Cervical Chyle Leak: Utility of Immediate Pathologic Confirmation 
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.
PMCID: PMC3015971  PMID: 19793489
Chylous fistula; Frozen section; Ligation; Thoracoscopy
6.  Pattern of regional metastases and prognostic factors in differentiated thyroid carcinoma 
The meaning of nodal metastases in well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma is controversial. The Authors analyse the impact of lymphatic spread reviewing 1503 cases of well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma treated at the National Cancer Institute of Rome between 1988 and 2005, in order to detect significant prognostic factors through multivariate analysis. Overall, 462 cases of locally advanced well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, were considered. A multivariate analysis of a subgroup, comprising 97 N+ consecutive cases of well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, previously untreated, was performed to study prognostic factors for local (N+) and distant (M+) metastasis in well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Of the 97 cases, 88 were submitted to surgery for a large well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, 9 for occult differentiated thyroid carcinoma. After surgery, 12 patients were lost to follow-up, 8 resulted pathologically negative, therefore only 77 cases of pN1 well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma were studied. Considering all cases of well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, 10-year-overall survival was 58.7% for locally advanced well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, compared to 94.8% in low stage cases. Neck dissection, margin infiltration and extra-capsular spread were significant prognostic factors. The Authors present a retrospective study of 77 patients with primary differentiated thyroid carcinoma, submitted to thyroidectomy and neck dissection aimed at analysing distribution of nodal metastases according to Robbins’ levels classification and defining their prognostic value. All N1b cases, retrospectively reviewed (n. 77), presented clinical and histological evidence of neck nodes metastases from differentiated thyroid carcinoma; histological reports indicated tumour localisation and topographical distribution of metastases; papillary carcinoma was the most common type (72 cases), followed by follicular carcinoma (5 cases). Surgical treatment always comprised total thyroidectomy and 6th level dissection. Overall 52 cases were submitted to monolateral neck dissection, 25 to bilateral neck dissection. Treatment of the lateral neck was postero-lateral neck dissection (n. 53), selective lateral neck dissection (n. 20), modified radical and radical (n. 29). Cervical level IV was the most frequently involved (52%), extra-capsular spread of metastases was identified in 22% of the cases. Statistically significant prognostic factors for distant metastases and recurrence on the neck were follicular carcinoma (p < 0.01) and extra-capsular spread (p < 0.001). Age, pT, sex, number of positive nodal metastases, T-extension and the number of nodal positive levels were not significant. In the Authors’ experience, histological grade of differentiation, wide tumour excision and neck dissection, in cases of N1b well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, without residual disease (R1, R2), in the central and lateral neck, are determinant prognostic factors. Extracapsular spread in particular, was found to be a highly predictive factor either of distant metastasis or regional recurrence.
PMCID: PMC2868202  PMID: 20463835
Thyroid carcinoma; Nodal metastases; Extra-capsular spread
7.  Chyle Fistula after Neck Dissection for an Unusual Breast Cancer Recurrence 
Breast Care  2008;3(4):274-276.
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.
Case Report
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.
PMCID: PMC2974984  PMID: 21076608
Chyle fistula; Breast cancer; Thyroid cancer
8.  Intra- and postoperative complications in 137 cases of giant thyroid gland tumor 
Oncology Letters  2012;4(5):965-969.
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.
PMCID: PMC3499596  PMID: 23162632
complications; giant thyroid gland; recurrent laryngeal nerve; hypoparathyroidism
9.  The feasibility and efficacy of secondary neck dissections in thyroid cancer metastases 
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.
PMCID: PMC3948570  PMID: 23771319
Thyroid cancer; Nodal metastases; Neck dissection
10.  Predictors of thyroid tumor aggressiveness. 
Western Journal of Medicine  1996;165(3):131-138.
Thyroid cancers are classified as papillary, follicular (including Hürthle cell), medullary, and anaplastic. Papillary cancers account for about 82% of all thyroid cancers, follicular about 8%, medullary about 6%, Hürthle cell 3%, and anaplastic 1%. The prognosis of patients with papillary thyroid cancer is usually favorable, whereas most patients with anaplastic cancer die within 6 months. The behavior of papillary thyroid cancer can be predicted by patient age, sex, tumor size, local invasion, angioinvasion, lymph node metastases, distant metastases, as well as tumor differentiation and ability to take up radioactive iodine. Thus, older male patients with larger or invasive tumors, with angioinvasion, lymph node or distant metastases, and with tumors that do not take up radioactive iodine or cannot be completely surgically resected have a worse prognosis. Anaploid tumors, tumors with a low adenylate cyclase response to thyroid-stimulating hormone tumors, tumors that are ras-and gsp-positive, and tumors that are p21-positive and p53-positive also appear to behave in a more aggressive manner. In contrast, lymphocytic thyroiditis associated with papillary thyroid cancer predicts fewer recurrences and an improved survival. The treatment of patients with papillary thyroid cancer is controversial primarily because most patients do well with relatively minimal therapy, and there are no prospective studies concerning the merits of various treatments. Much of the controversy relates to the safety of thyroidectomy versus other procedures and, to a lesser extent, when to do a central or modified radical neck dissection. The rate of recurrence is lower, and the death rate may also be lower when patients are treated initially by total thyroidectomy. The rationale for total thyroidectomy is that it enables one to use radioactive iodine to detect and treat local and distant metastases, and it makes serum thyroglobulin determination more sensitive for detecting persistent disease. Total thyroidectomy should be associated with a permanent complication rate of less than 2%. Thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression therapy is recommended by most experts for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer and supported by most clinical and laboratory studies. Central and lateral node selection is recommended for patients with palpable lymphadenopathy.
PMCID: PMC1303719  PMID: 8909165
11.  Chyle leakage in port incision after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery: case report 
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.
PMCID: PMC2964691  PMID: 20950471
12.  Indications for the Gasless Transaxillary Robotic Approach to Thyroid Surgery: Experience of Forty-Seven Procedures at the American Hospital of Paris 
European Thyroid Journal  2013;2(2):102-109.
Thyroid surgery is in a state of evolution from traditional open approaches to novel robotic techniques. The gasless transaxillary approach to thyroid surgery is effective in the management of thyroid cancer, and complications after robotic thyroidectomy are no higher than experienced after open or endoscopic techniques. The transaxillary robotic approach also avoids an anterior neck scar. This paper presents what the authors believe to be the largest cohort of patients reported in Europe undergoing gasless transaxillary robotic thyroid surgery, with the aim of defining the indications for this procedure.
Forty-six patients underwent robotic thyroid surgery via the transaxillary approach and were enrolled in this study between March 2010 and September 2012. All patients were operated on by one surgeon at one clinical center. Reviewed data included patient characteristics, pathological characteristics, extent of surgery and postoperative complications. The mean follow-up time was 7.29 months.
Forty-six patients underwent 47 procedures, the average age of the patients was 43 years and the male to female ratio was 1:22. Undertaken were 30 lobectomies, 3 subtotal thyroidectomies, 13 total thyroidectomies and 1 totalization. One case was converted to an open procedure. The ratio of malignant to benign disease was 1:6.67 (6:40 cases) and analysis of the surgical specimens showed 6 follicular lesions, 24 follicular adenomas, 3 colloid lesions, 1 case of thyroiditis/lymphatic lesion, 3 adenomatoid lesions, 3 oncocytic adenomas, 3 papillary cancers and 3 microcapillary cancers. The overall average size of an individual specimen removed was 45.40 ± 28.95 cm3 (range 5-160, n = 47) and the average largest diameter of the lesion removed was 3.72 ± 0.95 cm (range 1.4-6.0, n = 47). Postoperatively, there were 5 recurrent laryngeal nerve injuries (4 transient), 2 transient brachial plexopathies, 1 case of postoperative dysphagia and 1 of collection of blood at the site of surgery. There were no cases of disease recurrence at follow-up.
The gasless robotic transaxillary approach to thyroid surgery has been predicted to become a standard technique. It has been shown to be efficacious in the management of thyroid cancer with lateral neck metastases; however, more data relating to oncological safety in long-term follow-up is required. This intervention is also appropriate for benign thyroid disease including Graves' disease. To achieve consistently successful results, careful patient selection is fundamental in terms of patient characteristics and the anatomical aspects of the lesion. This is especially important with a geographical expansion to include North America and Europe. The excellent cosmetic results of this procedure make it ideal for patients who have esthetic concerns regarding particular difficulties with healing; however, in common with all new surgical procedures, further evidence must be sought to confirm its indications over time.
PMCID: PMC3821510  PMID: 24783047
Thyroid disease; Transaxillary robotic thyroid surgery; Cosmesis

13.  Bilateral Chylhotorax after Falling from Height 
Case Reports in Surgery  2014;2014:618708.
Chylothorax is accumulation of chyle in the pleural cavity due to disruption of the thoracic duct. The causes can be classified as neoplastic, traumatic (iatrogenic or noniatrogenic), congenital, sporadic, spontaneous, and miscellaneous. A 22-year-old man with no feature in his history and family history was referred to emergency department with the case of falling from height. Abdominal computed tomogram (CT) revealed laceration of liver, grade 5 splenic laceration, fracture of the left acetabulum, and dislocation of the left hip. He was optimized for emergency splenectomy and close left hip reduction. On the 2nd day of the operation, bilateral chylotorax revealed. The treatment depends on its etiology, the amount of drainage, and the clinical picture. Treatment can be classified into 3 categories treatment of the underlying condition, conservative management (such as bed rest, nil by mouth or low fat medium chain triglycerides by mouth and total parenteral nutrition), and surgical management by ligation or clipping of the thoracic duct with open thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. The main purpose of surgical treatment is to stop the chylous leak.
PMCID: PMC4095999  PMID: 25089210
14.  Total thyroidectomy without prophylactic central neck dissection in clinically node-negative papillary thyroid cancer: is it an adequate treatment? 
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.
PMCID: PMC4032348  PMID: 24885654
Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Central neck dissection; Total thyroidectomy
15.  Cervical masses as manifestation of papillary thyroid carcinomas ≤10 mm in diameter, in patients with unknown thyroid disease 
Thyroid Research  2008;1:8.
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.
PMCID: PMC2615418  PMID: 19061516
16.  Chylothorax following endovascular aortic repair with subclavian revascularization – a case report 
Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is becoming increasingly popular due to reduced perioperative morbidity and mortality compared with open surgical repair. However, complications can occur when the left subclavian artery is involved. When performing TEVAR with left carotid-subclavian artery bypass the stent graft will extend to the left common carotid artery. We herein present the case of a patient with a type B aortic dissection with an acute intramural hematoma. Chylothorax was noted after TEVAR with left carotid-subclavian artery bypass.
Case report
A 66-year-old female with descending aortic dissection that was treated conservatively developed the sudden onset of back pain. Aortic computed tomography (CT) showed a type B intramural aortic dissection. TEVAR with left carotid-subclavian artery bypass was performed. Left chylothorax was noted after surgery with drainage of up to 1000 mL per day. Conservative management was ineffective. Thoracoscopic ligation of the thoracic duct was performed with resolution of the chyle leakage.
Chylothorax can occur after TEVAR with carotid-subclavian artery bypass and likely results from thoracic duct injury. When conservative treatments fail, ligation of the thoracic duct cephalad to aortic hiatus can resolve the chyle leakage.
PMCID: PMC4234843  PMID: 25361705
17.  A rare complication: lymphocele following a re-operative right thyroid lobectomy for multinodular goitre 
BMJ Case Reports  2012;2012:bcr0220125747.
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.
PMCID: PMC3369368  PMID: 22669022
18.  Intravascular extension of papillary thyroid carcinoma to the internal jugular vein: A case report 
Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most common thyroid malignancy and usually spreads via lymphatic system. PTC can sometimes show microscopic vascular invasion, but rarely causes tumour thrombus in the internal jugular vein (IJV) or other great veins of the neck.
We report a case of a 62-year-old female presented with symptomatic central neck mass. Clinical examination revealed a hard solitary right-sided thyroid nodule with ipsilateral cervical lymphadenopathy. Ultrasonography (US) confirmed the clinical diagnosis and visualised a dilated ipsilateral IJV. Fine-needle aspiration cytology revealed PTC cells so total thyroidectomy with right neck dissection was done. A tumour thrombus was discovered in the distended right IJV and was cleared successfully. The patient recovered well after the operation with no local or distant metastasis detected.
Tumour vascular spread is observed in tumours with angio-invasive features including follicular carcinoma of the thyroid gland where great cervical veins can be affected. PTC commonly spreads to the lymph nodes and vascular spread via direct intravascular extension is extremely rare. Neck US has an important role in the diagnosis, and operators should attempt to detect signs of tumour thrombi in all patients with thyroid masses. Aggressive surgical treatment with vascular repair is recommended whenever possible to minimise the risk of potentially fatal complications of the intraluminal masses.
Intravascular tumour extension of PTC is rare but with serious consequences. Diagnosis with neck US is possible but some cases are only discovered intraoperatively. Thrombectomy with vascular repair or reconstruction is usually possible.
PMCID: PMC4147657  PMID: 25044067
Thyroid; Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Internal jugular vein thrombus; Tumour thrombus; Thyroid malignancy
19.  Extranodal Extension of Metastatic Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma: Correlation with Biochemical Endpoints, Nodal Persistence, and Systemic Disease Progression 
Thyroid  2013;23(9):1099-1105.
The impact of extranodal extension (ENE) of metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) on short- and long-term clinical outcomes, including biochemical testing, has not been reported.
This single-institution National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center cohort study included patients with macroscopic metastases and excluded patients with gross residual disease after surgery, distant disease, or poorly differentiated papillary carcinoma. A suppressed or stimulated thyroglobulin (Tg) <1 ng/mL, without suspicious imaging or anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, after radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment was termed an excellent or “complete biochemical response” (CR).
Of 89 subjects included, 60 previously untreated patients underwent total thyroidectomy and therapeutic neck dissection; 29 additional patients underwent a neck dissection for persistence or recurrence after prior surgery and RAI administration. ENE, identified in 29 patients (33%), was associated with T4 classification (p=0.02) and involvement of a greater number of nodes (median 11 vs. 5, p=0.03). ENE was associated with a 20% increased risk of nodal persistence necessitating additional surgery (p=0.02). In a multivariable analysis, ENE, T4 classification, and recurrence/persistence proved to be independent predictors of systemic disease progression (ENE: hazard ratio [HR] 4.3 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–15], p=0.02; T4 classification: HR 4.2 [CI 1.3–14], p=0.01; recurrent/persistent status: HR 3.6 [CI 1.1–12], p=0.035). Nodal or systemic disease progression was rare after a biochemical CR; in contrast, in previously untreated patients, stimulated Tg levels (sTg) >50 ng/mL prior to initial RAI administration, heralded the progression of nodal disease, and also predicted the eventual development of systemic disease (p=0.0001). Of those with a sTg >50 ng/mL, over 70% underwent surgery for nodal persistence within five years. The presence of ENE diminished the odds of a biochemical CR (odds ratio 3.5% [CI 1.3–10], p=0.02), and increased the probability that the sTg levels after surgery will exceed 50 ng/mL (odds ratio 5 [CI 1.2–21], p=0.03). Following surgery for tumor persistence, 25% of those with ENE were rendered biochemically free of disease.
ENE diminishes the probability of a biochemical CR after treatment for regional metastatic PTC, and increases the probability of tumor persistence after initial resection, likely from abundant metastasis. ENE and nodal persistence independently predict eventual systemic disease progression.
PMCID: PMC3770240  PMID: 23421588
20.  Robotic Surgery for Thyroid Disease 
European Thyroid Journal  2013;2(2):93-101.
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.
PMCID: PMC3821507  PMID: 24783046
Robot; Thyroid; Thyroidectomy; Robotic thyroidectomy; Neck dissection; Robotic neck dissection

21.  Postmastectomy/Axillary Node Dissection Chyloma: The Additional Value of SPECT/CT Lymphoscintigraphy 
Journal of Breast Cancer  2014;17(3):291-294.
After mastectomy and axillary node dissection, chylous leakage is rare. However, considerable anatomical variation in the termination of the thoracic duct has been reported. Hence, during breast surgery, injury to the lateral terminating branch is not unlikely and might lead to retrograde chyle leak. Herein, we describe a patient who had a chylous leakage at her wound site after a left simple mastectomy and axillary node dissection and for whom lymphoscintigraphy with Tc-99m albumin nanocolloid was performed. In this case, additional hybrid single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography study was done, and has helped with the accurate identification of the chyle leakage site, thus aiding in surgical management.
PMCID: PMC4197361  PMID: 25320629
Breast neoplasms; Chyle; Lymphoscintigraphy; Single-photon emission-computed tomography
22.  Trans-Oral Video-Assisted Neck Surgery (TOVANS). A new transoral technique of endoscopic thyroidectomy with gasless premandible approach 
Surgical Endoscopy  2012;27(4):1105-1110.
Endoscopic thyroidectomy is a well-established surgical technique. We have been utilizing precordial video-assisted neck surgery (VANS) with a gasless anterior neck skin lifting method. Recently, natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) has generated excitement among surgeons as potentially scar-free surgery. We developed an innovative gasless transoral technique for endoscopic thyroidectomy that incorporated the concept of NOTES in a VANS-technique.
Incision was made at the vestibulum under the inferior lip. From the vestibulum to the anterior cervical region, a subplatysmal tunnel in front of the mandible was created and cervical skin was lifted by Kirschner wires and a mechanical retracting system. This method without CO2 insufflation created an effective working space and provided an excellent cranio-caudal view so that we could perform thyroidectomy and central node dissection safely.
Beginning with our first clinical application of TOVANS in September 2009, we have performed eight such procedures. Three of the eight patients had papillary microcarcinoma and received central node dissection after thyroidectomy. All patients began oral intake 1 day after surgery. The sensory disorder around the chin persisted more than 6 months after surgery in all patients. Recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy revealed in one patient. Nobody had mental nerve palsy, and no infection developed with use of preventive antibacterial tablets for 3 days.
We developed a new method for gasless transoral endoscopic thyroidectomy with a premandible approach and anterior neck-skin lifting. TOVANS makes possible complete endoscopic radical lymphadenectomy for papillary thyroid cancer. We believe that this method is innovative and progressive and has not only a cosmetic advantage but also provides easy access to the central node compartment for dissection in endoscopic thyroid cancer surgery.
PMCID: PMC3599170  PMID: 23179070
Transoral; Video assisted neck surgery; Endoscopic thyroidectomy; Minimally invasive thyroidectomy; Endoscopic lymphadenectomy; TOVANS
23.  Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy for the early-stage differential thyroid carcinoma 
Journal of Translational Medicine  2012;10(Suppl 1):S13.
Minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT), the modified Miccoli’s thyroid surgery, is the most widespread minimally invasive technique and has been widely used for treatment of thyroid disease. This study aimed to verify the potential benefits of the modified Miccoli’s thyroid surgery, determine the feasibility of the MIVAT for early-stage differential thyroid carcinoma and evaluate the likelihood of the surgical method as a standard operation for early malignant thyroid carcinoma.
A total of 135 patients were retrospectively compared which included two groups of patients: the first group underwent the conventional thyroidectomy; the other group underwent MIVAT. Patients with thyroid nodule smaller than 20 mm and without previous neck surgery were included while those with wide-ranging and distant metastases of cervical tissues, or any suspected thyroid nodal metastases were excluded for analysis. MIVAT and the central compartment (level VI) lymph nodes dissection (LND) were considered as a new treatment method for this retrospective study. In addition to the comparison of surgical outcomes between the new treatment and the conventional thyroid surgery, other surgical parameters including operative time, operative volume of hemorrhage, incisional length, postoperative volume of drainage, length of hospitalization, accidence of hoarse voice, accidence of bucking, accidence of hypocalcemia and peak angle of cervical axial rotation were also compared.
Out of 135 patients, 111 patients underwent conventional thyroid surgery and 24 patients underwent MIVAT plus level VI LND for treatment of early-stage differential malignant carcinoma. Patients who received the new surgical treatment had significantly shorter incisional length (3.1 cm vs. 6.9 cm, p < 0.0001), shorter operative time (109 min vs. 139 min, p = 0.014) and fewer operative hemorrhage (29.5 ml vs. 69.7 ml, p < 0.0001) when compared to the conventional treatment. Postoperative peak angle of cervical axial rotation of patients treated with MIVAT was less than those treated with conventional surgery (L: 31.5° vs. 39.0°, p < 0.0001; R: 31.5° vs. 38.0°, p < 0.0001). Incisional wound infection, postoperative hoarse voice, bucking and hypocalcemia were not observed in all patients. Postoperative analgetica was not required as well.
Compared with conventional thyroid surgery for early-stage differential thyroid carcinoma, the new surgical treatment could be considered as an alternative surgical method for treatment of early-stage thyroid carcinoma since it was feasible, safe and clinically effective with better surgical and cosmetic outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3445859  PMID: 23046557
24.  Chylous Ascites Requiring Surgical Intervention after Donor Nephrectomy — Case Series and Single Center Experience 
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.
PMCID: PMC3634560  PMID: 19958336
Chylous ascites; donor nephrectomy; living kidney donor complications
25.  Increasing Thyroid Cancer Rate and the Extent of Thyroid Surgery in Korea 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e113464.
It is evident that the rate of thyroid cancer is increasing throughout the world. One reason is increased detection of preclinical small cancers. However, it is not clear whether the increase in thyroid cancer rate is reducing the extent of thyroid surgeries. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the thyroid cancer rate and analyze recent changes in the extent of thyroid cancer surgeries in Korea.
An observational study was conducted using data from Korea’s Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRAS) for thyroidectomy with/without neck dissection, with 228,051 registered patients between 2007 and 2011. Data were categorized by the extent of surgery: unilateral thyroidectomy without neck dissection (UT), bilateral thyroidectomy or radical thyroidectomy without neck dissection (TT), any thyroidectomy with unilateral selective neck dissection (SND), any thyroidectomy with unilateral modified radical neck dissection (MRND), any thyroidectomy with unilateral radical neck dissection (RND), and any thyroidectomy with bilateral neck dissection (BND). Annual rate difference for each surgery was analyzed with a linear by linear association.
The absolute numbers of total thyroid surgeries (UT+TT+SND+MRND+RND+BND) were increased from 28539 to 61481. The proportion of patients who underwent only thyroidectomy without neck dissection (UT+TT) decreased from 67.30% to 60.50%, whereas the proportion of patients who underwent neck dissection (SND+MRND+RND+BND) increased from 32.70% to 39.50% during the 5-year study period.
Despite the increase in rate of thyroid cancer due to earlier detection, increased rate of neck dissection was noted.
PMCID: PMC4254284  PMID: 25470609

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