Thyroid Surgery: Whose Domain Is It?

Adv Ther. 2019 Oct;36(10):2541-2546. doi: 10.1007/s12325-019-01048-8. Epub 2019 Aug 10.


In the United States of America (US), most departments of otorhinolaryngology head and neck surgery have been performing thyroid surgery for many years. In contrast to the US, thyroid surgery is still dominated by general surgeons in most European countries. In numerous university centers, there continues to be friction regarding thyroid surgery. The focus of this editorial is to demonstrate that there is objective data in the literature to suggest that otorhinolaryngologists with appropriate training in head and neck surgery are well suited to perform the entire spectrum of thyroid surgery. The question of who is qualified to perform thyroid surgery is not determined by the basic specialty certification of the surgeon-general or otolaryngology; rather it depends on the training, skill and experience in surgery of the neck, of post-surgical and post-irradiated necks, and of neighboring structures.

Keywords: General surgery; Head and neck surgery; Otorhinolaryngology; Qualification; Thyroid surgery; Training.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Europe
  • General Surgery / standards*
  • Humans
  • Otolaryngology / standards*
  • Thyroid Gland / surgery*
  • United States

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.9165323