Drain placement in thyroidectomy is associated with longer hospital stay without preventing hematoma

Christopher A. Maroun, Margueritta El Asmar, So Jin Park, Marie Line El Asmar, Gangcai Zhu, Christine G. Gourin, Carole Fakhry, Vaninder Dhillon, Ralph P. Tufano, Jonathon O. Russell, Rajarsi Mandal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To analyze the effect of drain placement on postoperative hematoma formation and other associated outcomes post–thyroid surgery in a large national cohort. Methods: This was a retrospective study that analyzed data from the 2016–2017 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) public use files. Baseline characteristics and perioperative outcomes were compared between drain and no drain cohorts. Results: A total of 11,626 patients were included; 3281 had a drain placed intraoperatively and 8345 did not. Otolaryngologists were 6.98 times more likely to place a drain after thyroidectomy than general surgeons (P <.001), and patients undergoing subtotal or total thyroidectomy were 2.17 times more likely to have a drain placed than if undergoing partial thyroidectomy (P <.001). Drain placement did not reduce hematoma formation on both univariate and multivariate analyses (adjusted OR = 0.93, P =.696). A slightly larger proportion of patients underwent unplanned intubation postoperatively among those who had a drain placed (0.76% vs. 0.29%, P <.001). Patients who received a drain were on average 4.63 times as likely to remain in the hospital for 2 or more days compared to those who did not receive a drain. Conclusion: Drain placement did not significantly affect postoperative hematoma formation following thyroidectomy. Drain placement should not be routinely employed in these patients. However, surgeon judgement and intraoperative considerations should be taken into account, as to when to place a drain. Level of Evidence: N/A. Laryngoscope, 130:1349–1356, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1349-1356
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Thyroid surgery
  • complications
  • drain use
  • thyroid hematoma
  • thyroidectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Drain placement in thyroidectomy is associated with longer hospital stay without preventing hematoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this