Analysis of various defects and reconstructive methods after invasive thyroid carcinoma resection

Published:April 13, 2022DOI:



      The thyroid gland adjoins the trachea, pharynx, esophagus, carotid artery and cervical skin. Most thyroid carcinomas have been treated at lower stages; however, in some cases the carcinomas have invaded the surrounding organs. After resecting invasive thyroid carcinomas, the defects vary depending on the invasion area and organs affected; subsequent reconstructive methods vary depending on the size of defect and its components. This study analysed the pattern of defects and the reconstructive methods used following invasive thyroid carcinoma resection.


      From April 2011 to March 2021, 665 patients in Saitama Cancer Center (Saitama, Japan) were diagnosed with thyroid carcinoma and subsequently underwent thyroidectomies. In the 25 patients (3.8%), the thyroid carcinoma invaded surrounding organs and any reconstructive surgery—including end-to-end tracheal anastomosis and simple pharynx closure—was performed after thyroid carcinoma resection. The patients’ records were retrospectively reviewed, and the defects and subsequent reconstructive methods were analysed.


      When our new classification system was applied to the defects, the number of cases for each type was totaled: Tr0: 1; Tr1a: 3; Tr2b: 5; Tr3a: 1; La-Tr3b+PE2: 7; La-Tr3b+PE2+S2: 1; PE1: 1; PE1+S1: 2; S1: 2; S2: 2. For Tr0, a tracheal fenestration was performed after the tumor resection and the fenestration was closed with a hinge flap. For Tr1a defect, a tracheal fenestration was performed with cervical skin after the tumor resection and the tracheal fenestration was closed with a deltopectoral flap or pectralis major musculocutaneous flap. In one recent patient, the tracheal fenestration was reconstructed using free forearm flap and cervical skin, and the fenestration was closed with a hinge flap. For Tr2b defect, free forearm flap and costal cartilage graft reconstruction was performed after the tumor resection and the fenestration was closed with a hinge flap. For Tr3a defect, end-to-end anastomosis was performed in one patient. For La-Tr3b+PE2 defect, total pharyngolaryngectomy with free jejunal flap reconstruction was performed. For PE1 defect, a simple closure was performed in one patient and a PMMC muscle flap was used for covering the suture line in two patients. For S1 and S2 defect, PMMC flap or DP flap was used.


      Our analysis of defects and reconstructive methods defines the complex defect patterns occurring after invasive thyroid carcinoma resection, describes the patterns of subsequent reconstructive methods.


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