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Dr. J. Alcalde, Otorhinolaryngologist, Clínica Universidad de Navarra
The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández, will undergo surgery today for thyroid cancer. Specifically, the diagnosis made public is that of a papillary thyroid carcinoma, located in the right lobe of the gland, without lymph node involvement or metastasis. Of the thyroid carcinomas the most frequent and with the best prognosis is the papillary carcinoma.
The treatment of a localized thyroid carcinoma includes surgery, usually a total thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland) - unless the tumor is smaller than 1 cm, in which case a partial thyroidectomy would be appropriate - and postoperative radiometabolic treatment with Iodine 131.
In the case of papillary thyroid carcinoma, a lymph node emptying of the central compartment, which includes the pretracheal nodes and the paratracheal region of the affected side, is frequently performed together with total thyroidectomy. In those cases in which at the time of diagnosis there are lymph nodes in the lateral cervical region, their removal is performed at the same surgical time.
This surgical procedure has a leave incidence of complications and a postoperative period of about 48 hours, with a rapid recovery of the patient.