Completion thyroidectomy for differentiated thyroid cancer (results in a consecutive series of 68 patients).
ABSTRACT Completion thyroidectomy plays an important role in the management of patients with thyroid cancer. The aim of this study is to determine the indications for and timing of a second surgery, as well as surgical complications.
Operative reports, as well as the hospital and outpatient records of 686 consecutive patients, who had undergone surgery for differentiated thyroid cancer, were reviewed. Among these, 68 (9,9%) patient records of a completion thyroidectomy for cancer were analyzed.
The mean time interval between the first and second operation was 3.6 months (range: 1-9). Post-operative complications occurred in 9 patients (12,9%). Among three patients with inferior laryngeal nerve palsy (4,4%) one had definitive palsy (1.4%). Hypoparathyroidism occurred in 6 patients (8,8%) being permanent in one of them (1.4%). No significant difference either for definitive inferior laryngeal nerve lesions (p = 0.9) or for definitive hypocalcemia (p = 1) was found between the groups of patients who had a completion thyroidectomy and those who had a one-step total thyroidectomy for cancer.
Correct indications for re-operation, total lobectomy as a primary surgical procedure as well as lateral access to the residual thyroid gland could all reduce the high risks of complications related to this kind of surgery.