Outpatient hemithyroidectomy: safety and feasibility
A. Torfs, G. Laureyns and P. Lemkens
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck surgery, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Genk, Belgium
Outpatients; thyroidectomy, safety
279 - 283
Outpatient hemithyroidectomy: safety and feasibility. Objective: In Belgium, thyroidectomy is currently an inpatient procedure because of potential life-threatening post-operative complications that include hypocalcemia, laryn- geal nerve damage and haemorrhage. Thyroidectomy can only be performed on an outpatient basis if the complication rate is low. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and safety of outpatient hemithyroidectomy. Methodology: Between March 2008 and September 2010 we selected 54 patients who met our inclusion criteria for out- patient hemithyroidectomy. The procedure was carried out through a standard cervicotomy under general anaesthesia. No drains were used. We analysed patient outcome based on complications, unplanned admissions and readmissions. Results: The mean age of the 54 patients was 46 years, and most of them were women (81%). The mean duration of surgery was 64 minutes, and there were no intra-operative complications.After an observation period of at least 3 hours, 44 patients (81.5%) were discharged as planned. Ten patients (18.5%) required admission for urine retention (n = 1), social circumstances (n = 1), persistence of nausea (n = 3), delayed anaesthesia recovery (n = 4) and patient preference (n = 1). All 10 were discharged the next day, and none were readmitted. Conclusions: Our study shows that outpatient hemithyroidectomy performed by experienced surgeons in carefully selected patients can be safe and is associated with a low complication rate. However, this series is small and larger studies are needed to confirm the results.
Vol. 8, 2012, 4th trimester

Outpatient hemithyroidectomy: safety and feasibility