|Table of Contents|
Complication rates of thyroidectomy by an experienced, high-volume thyroid surgeon in a private hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Thyroidectomy is one of the most common endocrine surgical procedures; it is performed by surgeons of various specialties, including general surgeons, endocrine surgeons, ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeons, and head and neck surgeons. Thyroidectomy carries a significant and immediate risk of complications, some of which can be life-threating. Improved surgical techniques and surgeons experienced in thyroid surgery can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality. The objective of this prospective study was to determine the overall complication rate and demonstrate that a permanent complication rate of 0% can be achieved. The study was carried out between January 2013 and May 2015 and involved 228 patients. All patients were assessed preoperatively by an endocrinologist and an ENT surgeon for vocal cord functions; all were operated on by the same surgeon, who had >10 years’ experience and performed over 100 thyroidectomies per year. Patients were followed up at 6 months to record any complications. Data were analysed using SPSS version 13.0 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA) and a chi-squared test was used to calculate P-values. There was an overall complication rate of 16.23%; 15.8% of patients experienced transient hypocalcaemia and 0.4% experienced postoperative bleeding. There were no permanent complications and the rate of both recurrent laryngeal nerve injury and wound infection was 0%. We conclude that the rate of complications of thyroidectomy can be significantly reduced and the rate of permanent complications reduced to 0% if the procedure is performed by an experienced, high-volume surgeon with a special interest in thyroid surgery.