Background: The primary purposes of this interdisciplinary consensus statement were to review the relevant indications for central neck dissection (CND) in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) and to outline the appropriate extent and relevant techniques required to accomplish a safe and effective CND. Methods: A writing group convened by the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) Endocrine Committee was tasked with identifying the important clinical elements to consider when managing the central neck compartment in patients with PTC based on available evidence in the literature, and the group's collective experience. The position statement paper was then submitted to the full Endocrine Committee, Education Committee, and AHNS Council. Results: This consensus statement was developed to inform the clinical decision-making process when managing the central neck compartment in patients with PTC from the AHNS. This document is intended to provide clarity through definitions as well as a basic guideline from which to manage the central neck. It is our hope that this improves the quality and reduces variation in management of the central neck, facilitates communication, and furthers research for patients with thyroid cancer. Conclusion: This represents, in our opinion, contemporary optimal surgical care for this patient population and is endorsed by the American Head and Neck Society.
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- central compartment
- differentiated thyroid cancer
- extrathyroidal extension
- lymph node dissection
- lymph node metastases
- papillary thyroid cancer (PTC)