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Hypocalcemia after minimally invasive thyroidectomy

| Reprints
September 18, 2014
by Doug Massick, MD; Matthew R. Garrett, MD


We conducted a retrospective study to determine the incidence of postoperative hypocalcemia following minimally invasive thyroidectomy. During the 2-year study period, 74 patients-16 men and 58 women (mean age: 43.7)-underwent either total or hemithyroidectomy through a 3-cm incision. Postoperative hypocalcemia occurred in 14 of these patients (18.9%)-4 men and 10 women-all of whom underwent total rather than hemithyroidectomy. All these patients received supplementation with calcium and vitamin D for 2 weeks postoperatively in order to regain a normal calcium status, and all demonstrated normal serum calcium levels at 3 weeks. Despite their low calcium levels, none of the 14 patients exhibited any overt symptoms of hypocalcemia. We conclude that minimally invasive thyroidectomy is associated with a low rate of postoperative hypocalcemia that is comparable to the rates previously reported for standard thyroidectomy.

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