The effect of lateral neck dissection on complication rate for total thyroidectomy.

Daniel J Rocke, Hillary Mulder,Derek Cyr, Russel Kahmke,Walter T Lee, Liana Puscas, Kristine Schulz,David L Witsell

American Journal of Otolaryngology(2020)

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Purpose: To determine the complication profile for total thyroidectomy with and without concomitant lateral neck dissection using a large administrative database. Materials and methods: The IBM MarketScan (R) Commercial Database (2010-2014) analytic cohort was queried for patients >= 18 years or older undergoing total thyroidectomy (or equivalent procedures) from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2014. Subgroup analysis was performed for patients undergoing concomitant unilateral and bilateral lateral neck dissection. The complication profiles were described. Results: 55,204 patients underwent total thyroidectomy or equivalent procedures. Hypoparathyroidism or hypocalcemia was coded in 20.3% overall, with 4.7% having permanent hypoparathyroidism. Vocal cord paralysis was coded in 3.3% overall with permanent rate of 0.7%. Tracheotomy was performed in 0.3% of patients. 2743 underwent total thyroidectomy with concomitant unilateral lateral neck dissection, and 560 of these patients underwent bilateral lateral neck dissection. In patients undergoing unilateral lateral neck dissection, 30.5% of patients have hypoparathyroidism/hypocalcemia coded, with a permanent rate of 8.8%. Vocal cord paralysis was coded in 8.3% of patients, with a permanent rate of 1.9%. Tracheotomy was performed in 1.2% of patients. In patients undergoing bilateral lateral neck dissection, 39.6% had hypoparathyroidism/hypocalcemia coded, with a permanent rate of 10.9%. These patients had vocal cord paralysis coded in 10.2% of cases, with a permanent rate of 2.1%. Tracheotomy was performed in 2.5% of patients. Conclusion: The addition of unilateral and especially bilateral lateral neck dissection increases both overall and permanent complication rates for total thyroidectomy. These data may help to inform preoperative discussions with patients.
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