Complications to thyroid surgery: results as reported in a database from a multicenter audit comprising 3,660 patients. Langenbecks Arch Surg

Scandanavian Quality Register for Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery, Lund, Sweden.
Langenbeck s Archives of Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.19). 09/2008; 393(5):667-73. DOI: 10.1007/s00423-008-0366-7
Source: PubMed


During recent years, more radical surgery for thyroid disease, i.e., total instead of subtotal resection, has been evident. Results following this strategy on national levels are scarce.
From 2004 to 2006, 26 Scandinavian Departments registered 3,660 thyroid operations in a database. Risk factors for complications were analyzed with multiple logistic regression.
After thyroidectomy, re-bleeding occurred in 2.1% and was associated with older age (OR 1.04; p < 0.0001) and male gender (OR 1.90; p = 0.014). Postoperative infection occurred in 1.6% and associated with lymph node operation (OR 8.18; p < 0.0001). Postoperative unilateral paresis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve was diagnosed 3.9% and bilateral paresis in 0.2%. Unilateral paresis was associated with older age, intrathoracic goiter, thyreotoxicosis, and if routine laryngoscopy was practiced (OR 1.92; p = 0.0002). After 6 months, the incidence of nerve paresis was 0.97%. After bilateral thyroid surgery (n = 1,648), hypocalcaemia treated with vitamin D analogue occurred in 9.9% of the patients at the first follow-up and in 4.4% after 6 months.
Complications to thyroid surgery are not uncommon. The high frequency of hypocalcaemia treated with vitamin D after 6 months is a cause of concern.

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    • "The cost of thyroid surgery is not negligible. The risk of transient, as well as permanent complications, remain a concern, even in high-volume surgical centres [17]. An important, but usually underestimated, issue is the quality of life of the patients (mostly women). "
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    ABSTRACT: Surgery is the long-established therapeutic option for benign thyroid nodules, which steadily grow and become symptomatic. The cost of thyroid surgery, the risk of temporary or permanent complications, and the effect on quality of life, however, remain relevant concerns. Therefore, various minimally invasive treatments, directed towards office-based management of symptomatic nodules, without requiring general anaesthesia, and with negligible damage to the skin and cervical tissues, have been proposed during the past two decades. Today, ultrasound-guided percutaneous ethanol injection and thermal ablation with laser or radiofrequency have been thoroughly evaluated, and are accessible procedures in specialized centres. In clinical practice, relapsing thyroid cysts are effectively managed with percutaneous ethanol Injection treatment, which should be considered therapy of choice. In solid non-functioning thyroid nodules that grow or become symptomatic, trained operators may safely induce, with a single session of laser ablation treatment or radiofrequency ablation, a 50% volume decrease and, in parallel, improve local symptoms. In contrast, hyperfunctioning nodules remain best treated with radioactive iodine, which results in a better control of hyperthyroidism, also in the long-term, and fewer side-effects. Currently, minimally invasive treatment is also investigated for achieving local control of small size neck recurrences of papillary thyroid carcinoma in patients who are poor candidates for repeat cervical lymph node dissection. This particular use should still be considered experimental.
    Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 08/2014; 28(4). DOI:10.1016/j.beem.2014.02.004 · 4.60 Impact Factor
    • "Because thyroid nodules with indeterminate FNA cytopathology have a 25% risk of malignancy when resected, 75% of these operations will likely be on nodules determined to be benign post-operatively.5,6 Thyroid surgery is associated with potential complications, including temporary and permanent hypocalcemia, recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (with voice change, dysphagia, and potentially airway compromise if bilateral), and bleeding, with an incidence as high as 2-10%.21,22,23 While there is strong evidence that high volume thyroid surgeons on average have fewer complications than low volume counterparts, 50% of thyroid operations in the U.S. are still performed by surgeons who perform ≤5 thyroidectomies/year.24 Hypothyroidism is an expected sequelae of thyroid surgery, with patients requiring life-long thyroid hormone supplementation or replacement therapy. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ruling out malignancy in thyroid nodules historically depended on thyroid resection and histopathological evaluation until fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy was introduced into the United States in the 1970's. Thyroid FNA biopsy identified a majority of thyroid nodules as benign, obviating the need for surgery in over half of the patients. However, 15%-30% of thyroid FNAs have indeterminate cytology that still requires operation, even though most of these operated nodules prove to be benign post-operatively. In order to predict which cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules are benign and to potentially avoid surgery on these nodules, a recently described commercially available Gene Expression Classifier (GEC) test (Afirma®, Veracyte, Inc., South San Francisco, CA) has been developed that can be run on the FNA sample. This paper reviews the published literature and technology assessments/guidelines by independent parties and professional groups regarding the clinical utility as well as the analytic and clinical validity of the Afirma GEC.
    PLoS Currents 02/2013; 5. DOI:10.1371/currents.eogt.e557cbb5c7e4f66568ce582a373057e7
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    • "The extent of resection, reoperation for completion, patient volume per surgeon and the surgeon’s inexperience are risk factors for morbidity of thyroid surgery. Meticulous dissection is a key factor in minimizing the development of complications [13-18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background We aimed to minimalize operative complications by spraying of methylene blue stain on thyroid glands and the perithyroidal area. Material and methods The intra-operative methylene blue spraying technique was used prospectively on a total of 56 patients who had undergone primary (not recurrent) thyroid surgery for a variety of thyroid diseases. Bilateral total thyroidectomy was performed in all cases. After superior but before inferior pole ligation, 0.5ml of methylene blue was sprayed over the thyroid lobe and perilober area. Tissues, especially parathyroides, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, and the inferior thyroid artery, were identified and evaluated. Results Recurrent laryngeal nerve and arteries were not stained and thus they remained white in all cases while all other tissues were stained blue. Within three minutes parathyroid glands washed out the blue stain and the original yellow color was regained. Thyroid tissue wash-out time was not less than 15 minutes; perithyroideal muscles, tendinous and lipoid structures took no less than 25 minutes. Conclusion The safety of intravascular methylene blue guidance on thyroid surgery is known. This research demonstrates the effectiveness of the spraying technique, a new technique which ensures not only identification of parathyroid glands within three minutes, but also identification of recurrent laryngeal nerves and inferior thyroid arteries.
    Thyroid Research 11/2012; 5(1):15. DOI:10.1186/1756-6614-5-15
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