From the patient´s first visit, the best diagnostic and therapeutic strategy for them is created. Their overall patient care plan is also planned out and organised, taking into account their family´s needs as well. This allows for an efficient, guaranteed service for optimising patient care.
We have the best treatments available for our patients. One of the newest, is robotic surgery with the Da Vinci system. This uses specially designed instruments, which are reduced in size to make them more precise in their handling. This technological advance allows the surgeon to work with a perfect field of vision and more accuracy.
Surgery is the main treatment for thyroid cancer
Surgery is the main treatment for all types of thyroid cancer. It is undergone conventionally, but in the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, thyroidectomy is possible with robotic surgery with the system Da Vinci®. With an incision in the patient´s underarm, the zone in the neck where the thyroid is situated is reached and the gland is removed.
Until now, surgery to remove the thyroid has been carried out through an incision in the neck and although it is a minimally invasive surgery, it results in scars on the patient´s neck which can cause an aesthetic problem for some patients.
The most common patients for this robotic surgery operation are young women with a unilateral thyroid nodule which is smaller than 4cm, or follicular thyroid carcinomas.
This technique offers a new alternative surgical treatment for the patient with a quick healing process, and similar complications to the conventional process through the neck, but a big aesthetic advantage.
Iodine 131 is administered until it is confirmed that pathological deposits aren´t rising.
Iodine 131 is used as a complementary treatment to surgery for differentiated thyroid carcinoma, to destroy the rest of the thyroid or as the treatment of choice for tissue close to the affected area and further away from said carcinoma (metastasis).
Before discharging a patient who has undergone a surgical procedure, the specialists decide on the dose of iodine 131 that will be used in their next hospitalisation period – a couple of months after the surgery – for this radiometabolic treatment.
The patient is admitted to the Clínica and, after a blood sample is taken to determine thyroglobulin and TSH levels, the planned dose of iodine 131 is administered. The iodine is mainly excreted in the patient´s urine.
After 72 hours, a thyroid or whole body scan is carried out to see if pathological deposits of iodine are still present, this will either indicate a metastasis or a lack of these deposits. The thyroid scan can be repeated periodically to determine if the thyroid cells are still persisting.
The revisions are spaced out depending on when notable progress can be observed. In some cases, it´s necessary to carry out complementary diagnostic tests: PET scans of the oncological stage, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan, thyroid scans to verify that no more tumours remain.
Hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are complementary treatments.
After surgery, in the majority of cases, it´s necessary to use complementary treatment with hormone therapy, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy
- Hormone therapy: after surgically removing the thyroids or using radioactive iodine, the synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine, is administered, to supply the physiological function of the thyroid.
- Chemotherapy: only used if the disease has metastasised and spread to other parts of the body or if other treatments have failed.
- Radiotherapy: sometimes used as a palliative treatment to destroy tumorous cells
Complementary irradiation of patients with thyroid carcinomas which have been operated on reduces the possibility of a localised fault but doesn´t affect the survival rate. This must be considered if the surgery was incomplete, if it extends around the thyroid gland or if the lymph nodes are affected. Likewise, it can be administered in the case of an inoperable relapse or for those that do not respond to radioactive iodine. Furthermore, external irradiation is used as a palliative treatment to destroy tumorous cells in other areas of the body.