Publication Details

Title :

Surgical Complications After Thyroid Surgery: A 10-Year Experience at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery


Al-Hakami HA1, Al Garni MA1, Malas M1, Abughanim S1, Alsuraihi A1, Al Raddadi T1.


1 Department of Surgery, Section of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs, P.O. Box 9515, Jeddah, 21423 Saudi Arabia.

Year of Publication:





To evaluate the incidence and predictive risk factors of complications in patients who underwent thyroid surgery at our hospital with a residency training program. This retrospective cohort study analyzed the complications in all patients who underwent thyroid surgery between January 2008 and December 2017. Demographic data, preoperative diagnosis based on fine needle aspiration cytology, surgical approach, permanent pathology, postoperative complications, and factors associated with complications were recorded. At our hospital, 456 patients underwent thyroidectomy. The most common surgical complications were asymptomatic biochemical hypocalcemia and symptomatic hypocalcemia in 109 (23.9%) and 50 (11%) patients, respectively. Other surgical complications included permanent hypocalcemia, transient vocal cord palsy, permanent vocal cord palsy, hematoma, seroma, chyle fistula, and Horner’s syndrome. Mean age > 45 years and more extensive surgery were significantly associated with overall complications (P = 0.003; < 0.001). Mean age > 50 years and vitamin D level < 25 nmol/L (< 10 ng/mL) were significantly associated with hypocalcemia (P = 0.008; < 0.001). Moreover, the extent of surgery and advanced thyroid carcinoma were significantly associated with vocal cord palsy (P < 0.001; 0.05). Hypocalcemia and vocal cord palsy are the most significant complications. Thyroid surgery can be performed safely by senior residents in the residency training program under the direct supervision of an experienced surgeon.