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Subtotal thyroidectomy in the management of grave's disease

Medical Journal Armed Forces India
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0377-1237(01)80043-5
  • Grave'S Disease
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Education
  • Medicine


Abstract Treatment options for Grave's disease include radio-iodine ablation, which is the standard treatment in the USA, antithyroid drug therapy, which is popular in Japan, and surgery, which is commonly employed in Europe and India. There are very few reports about the outcome of surgery in Grave's disease in the Indian setting. Surgery for Grave's disease is an attractive option in under developed countries to cut short prolonged drug treatment, costly follow up and avoid the need for radio-isotope facilities for 1311 ablation. Aim of the present study was to assess the result of subtotal thyroidectomy in 32 cases of Grave's Disease referred for surgery by the endocrinologist in a teaching hospital. Patients were prepared for surgery with Lugol's iodine and propranalol. Subtotal thyroidectomy was performed by a standard technique, which included dissection and exposure of recurrent laryngeal nerves and parathyroid glands. Actual estimation of weight of the remnant gland was not part of the study. Duration of follow up ranged from 6 months to 4 years. 13 of 32 cases were males. Age ranged from 20 to 57 years. There was 1 death in the immediate post-operative period. There were no cases of permanent hypoparathyroidism or recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy. 1 patient developed temporary hypoparathyroidism. 1 patient developed recurrence of hyperthyroidism and 3 cases developed hypothyroidism all within 2 years of surgery. The study has demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of surgery for Grave's Disease in comparison to the reported high incidence of hypothyroidism following radio-iodine therapy and high recurrence rate after anti thyroid drug therapy.

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