Purpose: The surgical thyroid disease includes upper aerodigestive complaints with not homogenous prevalence and specific features. The purpose was to analyze before and after total thyroidectomy (TT) the prevalence and severity of voice, swallowing, respiratory, and reflux airway symptoms in relation with thyroid weight. Methods: A total of 98 consenting patients undergoing TT were enrolled. Preoperatively, 1 and 3 months after TT, patients underwent videolaryngoscopy, subjective evaluation of voice (VIS), swallowing (SIS and EAT-10), respiratory (mMRC), and reflux symptoms (RSI, Gerd-Q). The scores were analyzed based on thyroid weight (<25 gr, 26–50 gr, 51–75 gr, >75 gr) and post-operative score gain was calculated from the score before TT and the follow-up examination. Results: In total, 40/98 selected cases of uncomplicated TT completed the postoperative evaluation. Endoscopic signs suggestive of reflux disease were observed in 1/40 (2.5%) and 0/19 cases before and after TT respectively. The prevalence of cases with abnormal reflux symptom index decreased significantly after surgery (8/40 vs 1/40) (p < 0.05), similarly occurred for the Gerd-Q (4/40 vs 1/40) (p < 0.05). Three months after TT the voice, swallowing and respiratory scores were significantly lower than the preoperative ones (p < 0.05). The SIS correlated positively with EAT-10 and RSI. After 3 months the postoperative score gain of voice, swallowing, respiratory, and reflux symptoms (Gerd-Q) was statistically higher (p < 0.05) in the cases with heaviest gland. Conclusions: The surgical thyroid disease is associated to mild aerodigestive preoperative compressive symptoms, that include respiratory abnormalities and reflux like symptoms, regardless of the gland weight. In absence of endoscopic signs of airway reflux the presence of reflux symptoms suggests an overlapping with thyroid neck complaints. The patients undergoing uncomplicated TT had improvement in compressive symptoms and the greatest improvement is seen in larger goiters.
- Reflux disease
- Thyroid weight