Mehmet Erikoğlu, Halil İbrahim Taşcı, Şakir Tavlı

Keywords: Recurrence, repeated surgery, papillary thyroid cancer


Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common thyroid malignity and its survival rate is higher than other types of cancer. Therapeutic lymph node dissection is considered to be a part of the surgical treatment if there is macroscopic lymph node involvement in such patients. Repeated neck dissections increase the rate of morbidity in patients previously operated on because of thyroid cancers.
An 84-year-old female patient referred to our clinic with complaints of swelling on the right side of the neck and shortness of breath. She had undergone 3 surgeries at other centers because of papillary thyroid cancer (total thyroidectomy and two neck dissections because of recurrence) and had received radioiodine ablation treatment. Her neck ultrasonography and thin-needle aspiration biopsy revealed results corresponding to thyroid cancer recurrence. Radical right neck dissection, alongside with the excision of the recurrent mass in the right thyroid lodge, was performed. No complications were observed in the post-op period and she was discharged on day 2 without any problems. Neither radiological recurrence nor elevation in thyroglobuline levels was detected after an 8-month follow-up period.
Consequently, cases can be treated with a lower morbidity rate at experienced centers, as is presented in our complicated dissection case, although the rate of morbidity for repeated surgeries in papillary thyroid cancer cases is higher than that of primary procedures.