[Length of hospital stay and complications in thyroid surgery. Our experience].

Dipartimento di Chirurgia e Scienze Odontostomatologiche, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Policlinico Universitario.
Chirurgia italiana 01/2007; 59(2):149-53.
Source: PubMed


Length of hospital stays for thyroid surgery has decreased significantly over the last years. Hypoparathyroidism is one of the main obstacles to short-stay hospitalization. The aim of this study was to evaluate length of hospital stay in our experience, its relationship with complications observed and feasibility of short-stay hospitalization regimen. Between September 2002 and December 2005, 932 patients underwent total thyroidectomy in our institution. Serum calcium and phosphorus values were obtained at 6 hours after operation and on postoperative day 1 and 2. Discharge was possible on the morning of the first postoperative day in 2 patients (0.2%), the second day in 687 (73.7%), third day in 167 (17.9%), fourth in 44 (4.7%), fifth in 22 (2.4%), after the fifth in 10 (1.1%). Complications observed were hypoparathyroidism in 393 patients (42.1%), neck hematoma in 12 (1.3%), bilateral recurrent nerve palsy in 5 (0.5%), unilateral recurrent nerve palsy in 4 (0.4%), glottic hemorrhagic edema in 1 (0.1%) and foreign body granuloma and/or fistula in 5 (0.5%). Hypocalcemia was observed on post-operative day 1 in 338 patients (86%), on day 2 in 50 (12.72%) and on day 3 in 5 (1.27%). Serum calcium and phosphorus determination 6 hours after operation and on postoperative day 1 permits an early treatment of hypocalcemia and to shorten length of hospital stay. A normal serum calcium level on postoperative day 1 lets suppose an easy discharge on the second. Earlier discharge is to be reserved to selected patients and not always meets their favour.

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