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World J Surg. 1992 Jul-Aug;16(4):765-9.

Surgery for hyperthyroidism: hemithyroidectomy plus contralateral resection or bilateral resection? A prospective randomized study of postoperative complications and long-term results.

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Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.


Fifty consecutive patients undergoing surgical treatment for hyperthyroidism were randomized to have either bilateral subtotal resection (n = 23) or hemithyroidectomy plus contralateral resection (n = 27). No significant differences in operating time or intra-operative bleeding were found. No postoperative bleeding and no temporary or persistent recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis occurred. Four patients who underwent bilateral resection and 2 patients who had hemithyroidectomy resection needed temporary calcium supplementation, and the serum calcium concentrations were slightly lower during the first few postoperative days in the patient undergoing hemithyroidectomy/resection. No persistent hypocalcemia occurred in either of the groups. At follow-up 3-4 years (mean 3.6 years) postoperatively, 1 patient in the bilateral resection group developed recurrent hyperthyroidism; no patients in the hemithyroidectomy/resection group developed recurrent hyperthyroidism. Twelve (44%) patients in the hemithyroidectomy/resection group and 8 (35%) patients in the bilateral resection group needed thyroxine supplementation because of a rise in thyroid stimulating hormone concentration combined with clinical signs of hypothyroidism that developed during follow-up. Hyperthyroidism can be treated by hemithyroidectomy plus contralateral resection without increasing the risk of complications. The results also suggest that when using this method, a slightly larger thyroid remnant should be left to avoid an increase in the incidence of hypothyroidism postoperatively.

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