High-resolution neck ultrasound plays a vital role in the evaluation and management of patients after total thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer. This technique is increasingly used by endocrinologists and head and neck surgeons to detect potential locoregional recurrences or metastases and map malignant lymph nodes before reoperation. It is also invaluable as guidance for fine-needle aspiration of suspicious lesions.
Thorough knowledge of the compartments of the neck and meticulous scanning technique are essential for success.
The purpose of this article is to review the common pattern of recurrences of differentiated thyroid cancer, describe our scanning protocol, and depict the characteristics of benign, indeterminate, and suspicious lesions in the postthyroidectomy neck.