Update on the diagnosis and treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer

P. Miccoli, M. N. Minuto, P. Berti, G. Materazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the 1990s, with the general tendency to develop minimally invasive operations, an endoscopic approach has been applied to neck surgery for both parathyroidectomy and thyroidectomy. The most widely spread minimally invasive technique for thyroidectomy is minimally invasive video assisted thyroidectomy (MIVAT), described and developed for the first time at our institution in 1998. Ideal candidates for MIVAT are patients with a thyroid volume lower than 25ml with nodules smaller than 35 mm. Consequently, MIVAT will present restricted indications, being suitable only for the treatment of about 10-15% of the whole standard surgical case load. Thus, together with small follicular lesions, "low risk" papillary carcinoma will result the main indication for MIVAT, being this small cancer usually harboured in normal glands of young females. On the other hand, in case of locally invasive carcinomas and/or lymph node metastasis the procedure must be immediately converted to the conventional technique. MIVAT also is not indicated for the treatment of medullary and anaplastic carcinomas. Recent prospective randomized studies clearly demonstrate that MIVAT allows achieving same clearance at the thyroid bed level and same outcome as conventional technique, when dealing with "low risk" papillary carcinoma. At the same time, patients can benefit from the main advantages of this minimally invasive technique: lower postoperative pain, faster postoperative recovery and excellent cosmetic outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Carcinoma, papillary
  • Surgical procedures, minimally invasive
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Video-assisted surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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