Methods

We reviewed the 2009 ATA guidelines (1) to construct a basic perioperative dataset of factors necessary for accurate risk stratification after surgery for thyroid cancer. We agreed upon a set of critical intraoperative findings requiring communication to nonsurgical caregivers and tested these datasets by reviewing diverse examples of best-practice documents relating to thyroidectomy, including office notes, referral letters, operative consents, operative reports, operative diagrams and artwork, and pre- and postoperative patient educational materials, including the extensive patient education website of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (2). We then extracted the essential common-denominator features felt to enhance precise and direct communication. We here present basic recommended datasets along with further suggestions to enhance the mutual prospective communication of well-defined care plans for management and cancer surveillance of patients after thyroidectomy. The final document was approved by the ATA Board of Directors and officially endorsed by the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES), the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), and the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS).