Surgical Site Infection after Thyroidectomy: A Rare but Significant Complication

Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Journal of Surgical Research (Impact Factor: 1.94). 03/2014; 190(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2014.03.033
Source: PubMed


Surgical site infections (SSIs) after thyroidectomy are rare but can have significant consequences. Thyroidectomy is a clean case, and the patterns for use of prophylactic antibiotics vary. We hypothesized that patient and operative characteristics may predict a higher risk of SSI, and that SSI are associated with other complications leading to increased resource utilization.
Data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program dataset for patients who underwent thyroidectomy through cervical incisions from 2005-2011 were included. Bivariate analysis using t-tests and chi-square tests were performed, and variables with P < 0.2 were considered for inclusion in a multivariate logistic regression model.
A total of 49,326 patients underwent thyroidectomy from 2005-2011 and 179 (0.36%) had an SSI. On multivariate analysis, the strongest predictors of SSI were operative time (P < 0.001) and wound classification clean-contaminated (odds ratio 6.1; 95% confidence interval, 3.6, 10.3). Preoperative factors associated with SSI on multivariate analysis had lower magnitudes of influence on SSI risk but included obesity, alcohol use, and nonindependent functional status. Patients with SSI were more likely to have a wound dehiscence, renal insufficiency, bleeding requiring transfusion, and return to the operating room on a multivariate model of outcomes.
Although rare, SSI after thyroidectomy are associated with other postoperative complications. We have identified preoperative and intraoperative factors that are associated with SSI, and this may help identify high-risk patients who may benefit from selective use of antibiotics.

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  • Journal of Surgical Research 04/2015; 197(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2015.04.040 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Several meta-analyses have been performed comparing the use of a variety of ultrasonic devices in thyroidectomy to conventional procedures. These studies have shown the superiority of ultrasonic devices for most outcomes studied including faster operative time and less blood loss, and equivalent or better safety for recurrent laryngeal nerve paresis and hypocalcemia. The current work is the first to examine a single ultrasonic device specifically designed for thyroid surgery, the Harmonic Focus, in order to confirm its efficacy and safety in thyroidectomy. Methods A comprehensive literature search without language restrictions was performed for randomized clinical trials comparing Harmonic Focus and conventional clamp, cut and tie in thyroidectomy. Outcome measures included operating time, blood loss, post-operative pain, length of hospital stay, hypocalcemia and recurrent laryngeal nerve paresis. Risk of bias was analyzed for all studies. Meta-analysis was performed using random effects models with the inverse-variance method for mean differences of continuous variables and the Mantel-Haenszel method for risk ratios of dichotomous variables. Results A total of 14 studies met the inclusion criteria. Harmonic Focus reduced operative time by 29 min, a 31 % decrease (p < 0.001), intra-operative blood loss by 45 ml (p < 0.001), post-operative pain (p < 0.001), length of hospital stay by 0.68 days (p = 0.005), drainage volume by 29 ml (p = 0.01), and occurrence of transient hypocalcemia by 40 % (p = 0.001). There were no significant differences between Harmonic Focus and conventional procedures in rate of persistent hypocalcemia, or rates of transient and persistent recurrent laryngeal nerve paresis. Conclusion This is the first meta-analysis of Harmonic Focus in thyroid surgery. In agreement with meta-analyses previously performed on ultrasonic devices, use of the Harmonic Focus has been shown to be a more effective surgical procedure compared to conventional methods in thyroidectomy. The low occurrence of hypocalcemia and recurrent laryngeal nerve paresis confirms that Harmonic Focus can improve thyroidectomy efficiency without increasing the risk of complications.
    Thyroid Research 10/2015; 8(1). DOI:10.1186/s13044-015-0027-1