Role of hemithyroidectomy in differentiated thyroid cancer

Bianca Gibelli, Rosa Dionisio, Mohssen Ansarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of review The incidence of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), especially among small tumors, is increasing worldwide, despite the fact that the mortality rate from thyroid cancer remains stable. Total thyroidectomy with or without radioiodine therapy is actually the standard treatment. In the last 2 decades, several studies have shown that lobectomy could be an alternative to total thyroidectomy in low-risk DTC without compromising overall survival. The aim of this article was to assess the role of conservative surgery (hemithyroidectomy) in DTC reviewing the literature data. Recent findings Recent advances in diagnostic techniques allow treatment to be tailored to patients' needs. The latest consensus guidelines suggest that patients with high-risk tumors should undergo total thyroidectomy, whereas patients with small, low-risk, node-negative DTC may be candidates for conservative surgery. Careful risk evaluation and stratification makes it possible to individualize treatment, avoid overtreatment and guarantee a good long-term prognosis with low recurrence risk. Excellent prognosis of DTC would require large sample sizes and long-term follow-up for prospective trials comparing the outcomes of total thyroidectomy vs. lobectomy; however, there are several remarkable retrospective studies. Summary Based on current clinical data, a conservative surgery might be appropriate for patients with low-risk DTC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • conservative surgery
  • hemithyroidectomy
  • risk stratification
  • thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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