Favorable Early Outcomes With Thyroid Lobectomy for Low-Risk Papillary Thyroid Cancer: The Mayo Clinic Experience

Michele M. Merten, Trenton Foster, Melanie Lyden, Michael Henry, M. Regina Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Until 2015, standard of care for low-risk papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) >1 cm was a total or near-total thyroidectomy. Despite changes in guidelines and surgical management of low-risk PTC since 2015, little data are available regarding the effect on the need for additional surgery or risk for development of lymph node metastases. Our aim was to determine outcomes in patients who underwent initial thyroid lobectomy for low-risk PTC at a high-volume tertiary care institution. Methods: Retrospective review of patients ≥18 years old with biopsy proven low-risk PTC 1-4 cm who underwent partial thyroidectomy (eg, lobectomy/isthmusectomy) at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, between March 2016 and June 30, 2019. Results: From 1481 thyroidectomies performed during study period, 940 contained PTC on final pathology. Of these, 87 (of 123) patients who had an initial thyroid lobectomy met inclusion criteria. Five (6%) of these patients proceeded to completion thyroidectomy (CT), with 3 requiring CT and radioactive iodine in the first postoperative year and 2 undergoing only CT in the second postoperative year. No postoperative complications were reported. No patient in this cohort required additional surgery or treatment for newly discovered lymph node metastases during the follow-up period. 43 (of 72, 60%) patients not on thyroxine therapy preoperatively were started on thyroxine therapy postoperatively. Conclusions: Early outcomes for those undergoing thyroid lobectomy for low-risk PTC at our institution have been favorable. These results support the 2015 American Thyroid Association guidelines to offer lobectomy for those with low-risk PTC 1-4 cm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1374-1378
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • endocrine
  • head/neck
  • surgical oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Favorable Early Outcomes With Thyroid Lobectomy for Low-Risk Papillary Thyroid Cancer: The Mayo Clinic Experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this