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Secondary thyroidectomy in patients with prior thyroid surgery for benign disease: A study of 203 cases

Authors
Journal
Surgery
0039-6060
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
126
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0039-6060(99)70088-7
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Background: The goal of this study was to evaluate the complication rate of secondary thyroidectomy in patients with prior thyroid surgery for benign disease. Methods: Over an 8-year period, 203 thyroid reoperations were performed on 202 patients. All information relating to operative procedures, pathology, and complications was recorded prospectively. Results: There were 24 men and 178 women with a mean age of 52 years. Prior surgery was unilateral in 136 cases (67%) and bilateral in 67 cases (33%), and 14 patients (6.9%) had more than 1 previous thyroid operation. For euthyroid or pretoxic recurrent nodular goiter, 190 reoperations were performed and 13 reoperations were performed for recurrent thyrotoxicosis. Twenty-three cancers were found in a specimen (11.4%). Completion thyroidectomy was done in 143 patients. Postoperative complications occurred in 21 patients (10.4%): recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy (7 patients), hypocalcemia (8 patients), hematoma requiring surgical evacuation (5 patients), and wound infection (1 patient). Complications remained permanent in 4 patients (2%). Conclusions: The permanent complication rate is higher in thyroid reoperations than in primary thyroid operations. However, we believe that this 2% rate is low enough to allow reoperation whenever it is necessary, provided precise operative rules are respected. (Surgery 1999;125:479-83.)

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