Systematic review and meta-analysis of the adverse effects of thyroidectomy combined with central neck dissection as compared with thyroidectomy alone




Meta-analysis to assess the increased morbidity of performing a central neck dissection with thyroidectomy to thyroidectomy alone.

Study Design:

Systematic review and meta-analysis.


Published articles were searched for using PubMed. Suitability was assessed by using predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Meta-analysis on the data was performed using the Mantel-Haenszel method and a risk difference calculated.


Five studies with a total of 1,132 patients were included. For every 7.7 central neck dissections performed with thyroidectomy, there was one extra case of temporary hypocalcemia when compared to thyroidectomy alone. There was no significant increased risk of permanent hypocalcemia or temporary or permanent vocal cord palsy when a central neck dissection was performed in addition to a thyroidectomy.


The benefits of prophylactic central neck dissection in differentiated thyroid carcinoma may be debated but there is no increased permanent morbidity by performing the procedure at the same time as thyroidectomy. Laryngoscope, 2009