WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Complication rates are low following surgery for pediatric thyroid disease at a high-volume center, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.

Heron D. Baumgarten, M.D., M.P.H., from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues reviewed medical records for all pediatric patients undergoing thyroid surgery. Data were included for 464 patients who underwent thyroid surgery from 2009 through 2017 at a single institution.

The researchers found that 33, 36, 27, and 3 percent of patients were diagnosed with benign nodules, papillary or follicular thyroid cancer, Graves disease, and medullary thyroid cancer, respectively, and 1.5 percent underwent prophylactic thyroidectomy for multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 2A. Overall, six patients required return to the operating room for hematoma evaluation; of these, five were after Graves disease surgery. Concerns about neurapraxia resulted in laryngoscopy in 16 cases; 11 had vocal cord paresis. At six months postoperatively, two of these patients demonstrated a persistent deficit (0.4 percent). Transient hypoparathyroidism was reported in 37 percent of patients; at six months after total thyroidectomy, two patients (0.6 percent) had persistent hypoparathyroidism.

“By seeing a higher volume of patients, our team is extremely skilled at ensuring an accurate and complete preoperative evaluation, and selecting the best surgical plan for each patient based on their diagnosis,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This approach is associated with optimizing outcomes while at the same time reducing complications for our patients and families.”

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