Class Year



School of Medicine


Outpatient thyroidectomy has become slowly accepted with various published reports predominantly examining partial or subtotal thyroidectomy. Concerns regarding the safety of outpatient total and completion thyroidectomy remain, especially in regards to vocal fold paralysis, hypocalcemia, and catastrophic hematoma. We aimed to evaluate the safety of outpatient thyroid surgery in a large cohort. We conducted a retrospective review comparing outcomes in those who underwent outpatient (n=251) versus inpatient (n= 291) completion or total thyroidectomy between February 2009 and February 2015. Outpatient completion and total thyroidectomy had lower rates of temporary hypocalcemia (6% vs. 24.4%; p< 0.001) and no significant difference in rates of return to emergency department (1.2% vs. 1.4%), hematoma formation (0.8% vs. 0.7%), temporary (2% vs. 4.1%) or permanent (0.4% vs. 0.7%) vocal fold paralysis, or permanent hypocalcemia (0.4% vs. 0%) compared to the inpatient group. Outpatients requiring calcium replacement had shorter duration of postoperative calcium supplementation (44.4±59.3 days vs. 63.3 ±94.4 days; p < 0.001). Our data demonstrates similar safety in outpatient and inpatient total and completion thyroidectomy.



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