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Ann Ital Chir. 1996 May-Jun;67(3):365-71.

[Surgical treatment of cervico-mediastinal goiter].

[Article in Italian]

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Istituto di Clinica Chirugica Generale e Terapia Chirurgica, Università degli Studi di Genova.


Over the last decades definitions and classifications of cervico-mediastinal goiters have been proposed. According to the definition of Valdoni and Tonelli, from 1968 to 1991 237 patients were operated on for cervico-mediastinal goiter. There were 168 simple forms (141 anterior and 27 posterior) and 69 complex forms according to Borrelly's classification. We analyse and discuss the clinical presentation, the diagnostic procedures and the surgical technique in relation to post-operative complications and long term results. The mean duration of symptoms before surgery in patients with cervico-mediastinal goiter was longer than in subjects with cervical goiters. All but 8 operations were performed through a cervical incision. Two patients, both with advanced tumor, died postoperatively. Post-operative complications were: hemorrhage 0.8%, dysphonia 4.6% and transient hypoparathyroidism 2.9%. A clinical follow-up was available for 194 patients. Permanent dyspnea was observed in 1.0%, dysphonia in 4.6% and transient hypoparathyroidism in 2.9%. Tracheotomy was necessary in 5 cases. Complications were more frequent after total thyroidectomy than after partial resection (p < 0.05), after surgery for malignancy than for benign disease (p < 0.05) and in complex than in simple forms (p < 0.05). Almost all cervico-mediastinal goiters can be treated by a cervical incision. Sternotomy, when required, does not influence mobility and mortality. The lacking of an alternative treatment, the relatively high incidence of malignancy and the risk of acute airway obstruction should induce the early removal of all substernal goiters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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