Safety of total thyroidectomy: Review of 100 consecutive cases

Ferit Tovi, Arnold M. Noyek, Jerry S. Chapnik, Jeremy L. Freeman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    55 Scopus citations


    During a 6-year period (June 1982to June 1988), 100 consecutive total thyroidectomies were performed at Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, for benign and malignant disease. There were five permanent complications: one deliberate sacrifice of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and four cases of persistent hypoparathyroidism. Four of these five complications occurred in extracapsular carcinoma and resulted from oncologic wide-field resection and/or deliberate sacrifice. One patient with benign disease suffered initially transient hypoparathyroidism which has now become permanent. Interestingly, two patients actually underwent deliberate sacrifice of a recurrent laryngeal nerve; one patient has made a surprising recovery at 16 months postoperative and now has full vocalcord mobility. Our experience suggests that the morbidity of total thyroidectomy relates primarily to the stage of malignancy and extracapsular extension, necessitating en bloc excision accompanied by additional lymph node dissection. The low incidence of permanent complications in benign thyroid disease suggests the feasibility of total thyroidectomy as the operation of choice when surgeons are familiar with the technique and indications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1233-1237
    Number of pages5
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Otorhinolaryngology


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