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Differentiated thyroid cancer: Surgical treatment

R Michael Tuttle, MD
Section Editor
Douglas S Ross, MD
Deputy Editor
Jean E Mulder, MD


The primary therapy for differentiated (papillary and follicular) thyroid cancer is surgery. Considerable controversy exists about how much thyroid tissue should be removed at the initial operation, and there are no prospective randomized clinical trials to provide guidance for selection of the optimal operation.

This topic will review the rationale behind selection of the most appropriate type of operation for these patients, the basic approaches to the operation, and management of the medical complications of surgery, particularly hypoparathyroidism. The technique of thyroidectomy and staging of thyroid cancer, as well as an overview of the management of differentiated thyroid cancer, radioiodine treatment, and external radiotherapy, are discussed separately.

(See "Initial thyroidectomy".)

(See "Differentiated thyroid cancer: Clinicopathologic staging".)

(See "Differentiated thyroid cancer: Overview of management".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 05, 2016.
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