The best time of completion thyroidectomy in differentiated thyroid carcinoma: A review of literature


Background: Completion thyroidectomy is performed for high-risk differentiated thyroid carcinoma; however, the timing of the completion thyroidectomy is a matter of controversy. The current review aimed to assess the best time for completion thyroidectomy in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma.

Methods: An electronic search was conducted in various databases, such as Pub Med, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Medline, for relevant articles assessing the timing of completion thyroidectomy from the first published article to October 2019.  Keywords, “completion thyroidectomy” and “timing” were used. The search was limited to articles published in the English language. Among the 190 articles retrieved, only 11 fulfilled the inclusion criteria.

Results: Of the 11 articles included, two were from Europe, one from Africa, one from Australia, and seven from Asia, and all were retrospective studies with the mean duration of studies being 12.71 ± 12.31 years.  Five studies (45.5%) showed no effect of timing on the outcomes, two (18.2%) recommended both early and late operation, another two (18.2%) concluded that late operation is better, one (9.1%) found that early surgery is better, while one study (9.1%) stated that the timing of operation should be based on the category of the patient.

Conclusions: The results were mixed with some studies recommending late completion thyroidectomy, some observing that both early and late thyroidectomy are safe, while some finding no effect of time on the completion thyroidectomy. Well-designed controlled trials will resolve the issue.

Keywords: early completion thyroidectomy, late thyroidectomy, timing

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