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Complications of Total Thyroidectomy

Introduction: Thyroidectomy is the total or partial removal of the thyroid gland depending on the type and extent of the lesion. It has become a common surgical procedure and can be performed by surgeons of various specializations.

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the postoperative complications of total thyroidectomy.

Methods: A total of 272 patients aged 14 to 82 underwent surgery between January 2011 and July 2019 at the Hospital Instituto de Otorrinolaringologia de Rio Preto (HIORP), São José do Rio Preto, SP.

Results: Of the 272 patients, a majority 215 (79%) were female and 57 (20,9%) were male. Anatomopathological examination revealed malignant disease in 178 patients (65,4%) and benign disease in 97 patients (35,6%). Temporary hypocalcemia occurred in 45 patients (16,5%), permanent hypocalcemia in 51 patients (18,7%), temporary unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy in 13 patients (4,7%), and permanent unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy in 10 patients (3,6%). Cervical hematoma occurred in 5 patients (1,8%), 3 patients (1.1%) underwent tracheotomy, and there were no patient deaths.

Conclusion: Complications of thyroidectomy are rare and mainly consist of hypocalcemia, vocal fold paralysis, and cervical hematoma. It is important to provide patients with detailed information on the surgical procedure and the possible complications so that they are aware of the inherent risks of the surgery.


Conrado MR, Maniglia LP, Castanhole-Nunes MMU, Alves NL, Martin TP, Gonçalves TC, Maniglia MP, Maniglia CP and Maniglia JV

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