Prophylactic neck dissection (PND) for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is controversial. Our aim was to assess current levels of evidence (LE) according to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine ( http://www.cebm.net/?O=1025 ) regarding the oncologic benefits of PND. Data were analyzed via MEDLINE keywords: PTC, differentiated thyroid carcinoma, PND, central lymph node metastases, central compartment, recurrence-free survival. There was conflicting evidence regarding the rate of reoperation for recurrence, with some studies showing a lower rate after PND with increased recurrence-free survival and a higher rate of undetectable pre- and post-ablation thyroglobulin levels (LE 4), whereas other studies did not show a difference (LE 4). Only one study (LE 4) showed improved disease-specific survival with PND. PND may improve recurrence-free survival, although this is supported by only a low LE. Current recommendations can only be based on low-level evidence.