Total thyroidectomy is not frequently performed in cases of benign disease because of the associated risk of postoperative hypoparathyroidism and recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) damage. We chose a series of patients who had undergone total thyroidectomy (TT) for benign thyroid tumors to evaluate the safety of this approach and its role in the treatment of nonmalignant lesions of the thyroid. We considered only patients with a minimum follow-up of 24 months. Records of 526 patients who underwent TT were carefully reviewed, assessing for perioperative complications and late sequelae. The mean age was 44 +/- 15.7 years; 109 patients (20.7%) were male and 417 (79.3%) were female. Altogether, 65 patients (12.3%) were operated on for toxic goiter, 429 (81.6%) for bilateral nodular goiter, and 32 (6.1%) for thyroiditis. Postoperative hemorrhage requiring reoperation occurred in 8 cases (1.5%). The incidences of permanent RLN palsy (considered as a percentage of the nerves at risk) and permanent hypocalcemia were 0.4% and 3.4%, respectively. A trend toward a decrease in the complication rate was observed during the last 5 years. There were no disease recurrences during a mean follow-up of 44 months. The results of our series show that TT can be performed safely in patients, with a low incidence of lifetime disabilities. TT has the advantage of reducing/avoiding the risk of disease recurrence and reoperation and should therefore be considered a valuable option for treating benign thyroid diseases.
- Benign thyroid disease