Rising Cost of Thyroid Surgery in Adult Patients

Zeyad T. Sahli, Sheng Zhou, Ashwyn K. Sharma, Dorry L. Segev, Allan Massie, Martha A. Zeiger, Aarti Mathur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this study is to describe the economic trends in adults who underwent elective thyroidectomy. Methods: We performed a population-based study utilizing the Premier Healthcare Database to examine adult patients who underwent elective thyroidectomy between January 2006 and December 2014. Time was divided into three equal time periods (2006-2008, 2009-2011, and 2012-2014). To examine trend in patient charges, we modeled patient charges using generalized linear regressions adjusting for key covariates with standard errors clustered at the hospital level. Results: Our study cohort consisted of 52,012 adult patients who underwent a thyroid operation. During the study period, the most common procedure changed from a thyroid lobectomy to bilateral thyroidectomy. Over the study period, there was an increase in the proportion of completion thyroidectomies from 1.1% to 1.6% (P < 0.001), malignant diagnoses from 21.7% to 26.8% (P < 0.001), procedures performed at teaching hospitals from 27.7% to 32.9% (P < 0.001), and procedures performed on an outpatient basis from 93.85% to 97.55% (P < 0.001). The annual increase in median patient charge adjusted for inflation was $895 or 4.3% resulting in an increase of 38.8% over 9 y. Higher thyroidectomy charges were associated with male patients, malignant surgical pathology, patients undergoing limited or radical neck dissection, experiencing complications, those with managed health care insurance, and a prolonged length of stay. Conclusions: Despite recent changes in thyroid surgery practices to decrease the economic burden of hospitals, costs continue to rise 4.3% annually. Additional prospective studies are needed to identify factors associated with this increasing cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Cost
  • Epidemiology
  • Premier database
  • Surgery
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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