Since 2016, transoral endoscopic thyroid resection with vestibular approach (TOETVA) has become increasingly performed in the United States. Although guidelines for the procedure are evolving, indeterminate and malignant preoperative cytopathologic diagnoses are not a contraindication. There are limited data related to the pathologic examination of these specimens.


To examine the clinicopathologic features of TOETVA specimens with particular attention to limitations of interpretation of pathologic parameters and final diagnosis.


We reviewed age, sex, preoperative imaging and cytologic diagnoses, surgical pathology, and clinical follow-up data in TOETVA resections at our institution between March 2016 and December 2019.


Fifty cases of TOETVA were identified, comprising 48 women and 2 men with a mean age of 47 years. Preoperative cytologic diagnoses were available in 47 cases and included 19 nondiagnostic/benign (Bethesda I/II), 24 follicular lesion of undetermined significance/suspicious for follicular neoplasm (Bethesda III/IV), and 4 suspicious/malignant diagnoses (Bethesda V/VI). Thirty-four cases (68%) among the surgical resection specimens showed disruption and/or fragmentation. Thirty-nine cases were negative for carcinoma, including hyperplasias and benign/indolent neoplasms. Eleven cases exhibited papillary thyroid carcinoma. Final diagnoses were reached in all disrupted/fragmented cases. In 2 cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma, tumor size, microscopic extrathyroidal extension, and margin status could not be determined.


A significant proportion of TOETVA specimens are disrupted/fragmented, which can compromise information about tumors, including size, number, margin status, and microscopic extrathyroidal extension. Given that these parameters inform treatment and follow-up, this should be considered when selecting patients for TOETVA.

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Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Presented as a poster at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology 107th Annual Meeting; March 19, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.