Postoperative complications after total thyroidectomy for benign thyroid diseases
Keywords:ATD, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, Thyroidectomy, Vocal cord palsy, Hypoparathyroidism
Background: The thyroid gland is normally impalpable, once enlarged it is called goiter which may be simple, toxic, inflammatory or neoplastic. Autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) includes goiters associated with antigen antibody reaction that initiates a series of inflammatory reactions. Due to these inflammatory reactions surgeries become more difficult with a tendency to develop postoperative complications.
Methods: This is a prospective study on 207 patients with thyroid disorders who were treated with total thyroidectomy in general surgery department, Menoufia university hospital between October 2015 and December 2018. Patients were divided into two groups based on postoperative histopathological findings group A included 73 patients with autoimmune thyroid disease while group B included 134 patients with non-autoimmune thyroid disease. All patients were followed up for 6 months postoperatively to evaluate vocal cord palsy and hypoparathyroidism.
Results: In our study, the rate of temporary and permanent vocal cord palsies were 4.1% and 1.4% in ATD group respectively while in non-ATD group were 1.5% and 0.7% respectively with no statistically significant difference between both groups, whereas the rate of temporary and permanent hypoparathyroidism were 9.5% and 4.1% in ATD group respectively while in non-ATD group were 2.9% and 0.7% respectively with significantly higher rate in ATD group.
Conclusions: Surgery for ATD is a challenging procedure but safe with a low incidence of general complications and vocal cord palsy when compared with surgery for non-ATD. However, postoperative hypoparathyroidism is significantly higher due to dense adhesions which obscure the surgical field so a special attention should be paid to the parathyroid glands during total thyroidectomy.
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