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The impact of completion thyroidectomy

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  • Final CT EJSO

    Accepted author manuscript, 29.2 KB, Word document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1174
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO)
Issue number7
Early online date18 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


INTRODUCTION: The oncological benefit of completion thyroidectomy (CT) following thyroid lobectomy (TL) is presumed to be similar to that of upfront total thyroidectomy(TT), from a patient's perspective the risk and inconvenience of further surgery adds significantly to the impact of the overall treatment. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of CT in terms of the duration of admission and associated complications.

METHODS: A study of consecutive patients with DTC identified from prospective MDT records of South-East Scotland from 2009 to 2015. Surgical data was extracted from electronic medical record.

RESULTS: Of 361 patients diagnosed with DTC, 161 (45%) had CT. The median postoperative stay was 1 day (range 1-5days). In total 22 patients (14%)suffered complications. Four patients (3%) developed postoperative haematoma. Two (1%) had an identified permanent nerve palsy on the completion side. 13 patients (8%) remained on calcium supplementation for more than 6 months postoperatively and three patients (2%) developed wound complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms that CT is regularly performed (45%). Recent changes in international guidelines recognize increasing number of patients as eligible for a conservative approach but recommend CT based on whether upfront TT would have been recommended if the TL pathology were known from the outset. Such an approach fails to consider the additional risk and inconvenience of CT on the overall patient experience. Due to a relatively high rate of complications, only those patients who are most likely to benefit from further surgery to facilitate adjuvant radioactive iodine should be offered additional surgery.

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