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Am J Surg. 2018 Nov;216(5):985-989. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2018.07.002. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

To admit or not to admit? Experience with outpatient thyroidectomy for Graves' disease in a high-volume tertiary care center.

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Department of Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
Department of Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA. Electronic address:



Outpatient thyroidectomy is increasingly performed. Thyroidectomy for Graves' disease, however, has greater risk of periprocedural complications, limiting use of same-day procedures. We sought to demonstrate that these patients may be managed with ambulatory surgery.


The experience of one endocrine surgeon with thyroidectomy for Graves' was examined from January 2016-November 2017. Forty-one patients met criteria. Patient demographics, perioperative parameters, and postoperative outcomes including emergency department utilization and readmission were recorded.


Mean age was 31.5 ± 17.0 years, with 80% females. Mode ASA score was 3, and median operative time was 77 minutes (43-132). Complications included transient hypocalcaemia in 12%, and temporary laryngeal nerve palsy in 9.7%, with no permanent complications. Two patients were admitted immediately postoperatively for non-medical reasons. Thirty-day emergency rdepartment visits were noted in 9.7%, with subsequent readmission of 7%.


Outpatient total thyroidectomy is safe and effective with acceptable morbidity in the Graves' patient.

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