Outpatient Total Thyroidectomy is Safe for Moderate-Volume Surgeons

Academic Article


  • Traditionally, total thyroidectomy (TT) was an inpatient procedure, but recent trends indicate that patients are often discharged on the day of surgery. This has been proven safe for high-volume surgeons but has not been studied for low (<10 TT per year) and moderate volume surgeons (<24 TT per year). Retrospective review was performed for 414 total thyroidectomies between 2005 and 2013. Emergency department visits and readmissions within 30 days of surgery were captured, but were considered the same for the purpose of this analysis. Patients were identified as outpatient if the day of discharge matched the day of surgery. The groups were compared based on demographic variables, comorbidities, postop calcium supplementation, and serum calcium. We found that moderate-volume surgeons were more likely to perform outpatient TT than low-volume surgeons (31.6% vs 6.0%, P < 0.001), but there was no correlation between length of stay and readmission (P = 0.688). Readmitted patients had lower postop serum calcium (8.3 mg/dL) than patients who were not readmitted (8.8 mg/dL, P = 0.006). Our data show that moderate-volume surgeons performing outpatient TT have an acceptable safety profile with respect to emergency department visits and hospital readmissions, and that same day discharge had no bearing on readmission.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • American Surgeon  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Black J; Cotton T; Yeh JJ
  • Start Page

  • 750
  • End Page

  • 754
  • Volume

  • 83
  • Issue

  • 7