Author(s): Abbas G, Dubner S, Heller KS
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Abstract BACKGROUND: This study was undertaken to determine the frequency and timing of re-operation for bleeding following thyroidectomy (THY) and parathyroidectomy (PARA) as well as the implications of this concerning the safety of ambulatory surgery. METHODS: Patients requiring re-operation after THY and PARA were identified from a computerized database of patients undergoing surgery between 3/l/95 and 12/31/99. The medical records of these patients were reviewed in detail. RESULTS: Six of 918 THY (0.7\%) and 4 of 350 PARA (1.1\%) required re-operation for bleeding. In two cases the wounds were opened emergently at the bedside due to worsening airway obstruction. One patient required an emergency tracheostomy. There were no deaths. Excluding one patient who bled five days post-operatively, the time interval from the completion of surgery to the identification of postoperative hematoma ranged from 2 to 48 hours, the median being 16 hours. CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative bleeding is an uncommon but unavoidable complication of THY and PARA. If treated promptly, serious consequences can be avoided. The relatively long interval between the initial operation and the development of the hematoma needs to be considered when recommending the performance of these procedures on an ambulatory basis. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
This article was published in Head Neck
and referenced in Journal of Surgery