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Hypocalcemia Most Common Complication After Total Thyroidectomy
Thyroid News / From Mary Shomon Your Thyroid Guide

Recent research has found that the most common complication after total removal of the thyroid (thyroidectomy) is a deficiency in calcium known as hypocalcemia. As many as 6% of patients having a total thyroidectomy suffer this complication.

In data from more than 500 patients receiving total thyroidectomies, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx were studied. The thyroid surgeries were primarily due to thyroid cancer and goiter (enlargement).

Additionally, researchers found:
  • The average time patients spent in the hospital was 2.5 days
  • As many as 1% of patients suffered from wound hematoma or hemorrhage
  • Unilateral vocal cord paralysis occurred in as many as .77% of patients
  • Bilateral vocal cord paralysis occurred in as many as .39% of patients
Source: Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 2002;128:389-392, April 2002
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