Introduction

Introduction

CURRENT AMERICAN HEALTH-CARE ENVIRONMENTS for patients with thyroid carcinoma differ widely in availability, capability, and delivery without a single type of specialist consistently serving as the predominant caregiver (1). Surgical input is integral to decision-making in thyroid cancer, but the content and quality of information flow can differ widely among practitioners concerning the preoperative findings, operative extent, surgical findings, and adjuvant care plan. In addition, there is not yet a universally accepted model for effectively communicating these critical pieces of data between the various health-care providers involved in the management of thyroid cancer patients. Thyroid cancer specialists value and seek information from multiple sources to develop an optimal management plan for each individual that will lead to a rational, risk-based approach to initial therapy, adjuvant therapy, and follow-up studies. Interdisciplinary communication is especially important in thyroid cancer since the pre- and intraoperative findings often complement the histologic findings described on the pathology report to influence risk stratification, adjuvant treatment, and follow-up strategy. With this in mind, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) Surgical Affairs Committee was asked to define a suggested essential perioperative dataset representing the critical information that should be readily available to each member of the multidisciplinary team making treatment and management recommendations for individual thyroid cancer patients.