J Korean Surg Soc.  2005 Feb;68(2):102-106.

The Optimal Timing for Surgery in Well-differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma Detected during Pregnancy

  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea. ysurg@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Surgery, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The optimal timing of a surgery for well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma detected during pregnancy remains controversial. This study was performed to determine the optimal timing of surgery for a well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma detected during pregnancy. METHODS: Betwwen July 1991 and June 2004, 20 cases diagnosed with a well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma during pregnancy were retrospectively analyzed. All 20 patients had undergone surgery. The patients were divided into three groups according to the timing of their surgery. Group I (n=9) had a thyroidectomy after delivery, group II (n=6) had a thyroidectomy during the second trimester, and group III (n=5) had a thyroidectomy after an abortion. Group III was excluded from the study as our particularly interest was in determining the optimal timing of surgery during pregnancy. RESULTS: No significant differences were noted between groups I and II with regard to age, tumor size, TNM stage and the timing of diagnosis. There were no TNM stage changes in group I, although a slight increase in tumor size during pregnancy was noted. There were no significant differences in the surgical outcomes between groups I and II with regard to types of operation, operation times, perioperative complications, length of hospital stays and treatment outcomes. CONCLUSION: The treatment of a well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma detected during pregnancy can be delayed until after delivery in most patients.


Well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma; Pregnancy; Delivery; Delayed surgery

MeSH Terms

Length of Stay
Pregnancy Trimester, Second
Retrospective Studies
Thyroid Gland*
Thyroid Neoplasms*
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