Profile of patients with completion thyroidectomy and assessment of their suitability for outpatient surgery

Gaosong Wu, Sara I. Pai, Nishant Agrawal, Jeremy Richmon, Alan Dackiw, Ralph P. Tufano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective. Outpatient thyroid surgery for thyroid lobectomy has been shown to be safe and feasible. The safety of outpatient completion thyroidectomy in patients who have previously undergone thyroid lobectomy has not been extensively evaluated in the medical literature to date. The authors sought to evaluate postoperative complications associated with completion thyroidectomy in their institution to determine if it would be safe and feasible to perform as an outpatient procedure. Study Design. Case series with chart review. Setting. Tertiary care teaching hospital. Subjects and Methods. Two hundred four consecutive patients, who underwent completion thyroidectomy after previous thyroid lobectomy from January 2000 to June 2010, comprised the study population. Medical records were reviewed for preoperative and postoperative serum calcium levels, preoperative and postoperative fiber-optic laryngoscopic examination of vocal fold mobility, associated comorbidities, length of hospital stay, drain use, seroma or hematoma formation, final thyroid pathology, and postoperative follow-up. Results. Overall, 9 patients (4.4%) developed postoperative complications, including transient symptomatic hypocalcemia in 4 patients (2.0%), transient laboratory hypocalcemia in 3 patients (1.5%), seroma formation in 1 patient (0.5%), and hematoma development in 1 patient (0.5%). There were no cases with permanent or temporary vocal fold paralysis. No significant difference was found in the overall complication rate before and after 4 hours of observation (P = .50). Conclusion. Selected patients who undergo completion thyroidectomy after previous thyroid lobectomy can be safely discharged after 4 hours of postoperative observation with appropriate instructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Completion thyroidectomy
  • Hematoma
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Postoperative complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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