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03.08.2018 | Miscellaneous | Ausgabe 9/2018

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 9/2018

Surgery of benign thyroid disease by ENT/head and neck surgeons and general surgeons: 233 cases of vocal fold paralysis in 3509 patients

Zeitschrift:
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology > Ausgabe 9/2018
Autoren:
B. Kohnen, C. Schürmeyer, T. H. Schürmeyer, P. Kress
Wichtige Hinweise
Previously presented as oral presentation at the 11th Congress of the European Laryngological Society, Genua, Italy, 10.06.2016 and poster at the 18th European Congress of Endocrinology, Munich, Germany, 28–31.5.2016.

Abstract

Purpose

Thyroid surgery is mainly performed by general surgeons (GS). The aim of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficiency of thyroid surgery by ENT/head and neck surgeons (ENT), especially regarding the incidence of vocal fold palsy (VFP).

Methods

We retrospectively analysed 3509 patients (69.0% female) who underwent surgery for benign thyroid diseases (56.8% nodular goitre, 18.6% inactive nodes, 14.0% thyroid autonomy, 7.0% Graves’ disease). Operations were mainly performed with intraoperative neuromonitoring by GS (n = 1933) or physicians trained for head and neck surgery (n = 1576). 18.7% of the procedures were carried out by residents in training.

Results

VFP occurred in 233 subjects (6.6%); 6.2% in females and 7.6% in males. A lower rate (p < 0.001) was observed in operations performed by ENT (4.7%) than by GS (8.2%). No increased incidence of VFP was seen for surgeries performed by physicians in training (6.2%, n = 657). Prevalence of VFP was not different for minimally invasive (6.3%, n = 950) and conventional surgery (6.8%, n = 2559), but higher in total (7.2%, n = 1916) than in subtotal thyroidectomy (5.0%, n = 997). Postoperative haemorrhage (5.6 vs. 1.9%) and hypocalcaemia < 2.0 mmol/l (32.8 vs. 22.0%) were documented more frequently in patients with VFP, also substitution therapy with calcium (23.2 vs. 14.7%) and dihydrotachysterol (8.1 vs. 3.7%) had to be applied more frequently.

Conclusion

Thyroid surgery performed by surgeons specifically trained for ENT/head and neck surgery is safe and has a significantly reduced rate of VFP. VFP is associated with other complications (postoperative haemorrhaging, hypocalcaemia).

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