Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Surg. 1998 Sep;64(9):889-93.

Retrosternal goiter: a six-year institutional review.

Author information

Department of Surgery, St. Agnes HealthCare, Baltimore, Maryland 21229, USA.


Retrosternal goiter is defined as any goiter in which at least 50 per cent of the thyroid resides below the level of the thoracic inlet. The incidence of retrosternal goiter varies from 3 to 20 per cent with respect to thyroidectomy patients. A retrospective chart review from June 1991 to December 1997 found 232 thyroidectomies performed at our institution. Sixteen patients were found to have retrosternal goiters (6.9%). The mean age was 57.8 years (range, 34-92). All were of benign pathology. Symptoms included shortness of breath (68.8%), hoarseness (37.5%), dysphagia (31.3%), and superior vena cava obstruction (6.25%). Thirteen patients were female (81.3%). Fifteen patients had surgical intervention (93.8%). Total thyroidectomy was performed in nine cases (60%), whereas lobectomy was performed in six cases (40%). All treated patients had complete resolution of symptoms. A cervical incision alone was used in 13 cases (86.7%). Complications consisted of one postoperative pleural effusion and in one case a traumatic C5 nerve root compression occurred. There were no instances of long-term vocal cord paralysis or hypoparathyroidism. There was no perioperative mortality. In the majority of patients with retrosternal goiter, surgery can be done expeditiously through a cervical incision with minimal morbidity and mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center