Surgical management of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) includes total thyroidectomy and lobectomy. After lobectomy, a reoperation called completion thyroidectomy is occasionally required. Postoperative hypocalcemia is the most common complication associated with thyroid surgery. Our main goal was to determine if there is a significant difference between the incidence rate of postoperative hypocalcemia in patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for PTC compared with patients who underwent completion thyroidectomy for PTC. Apart from that, we analyzed the following potential predictive factors for the occurrence of hypocalcemia: sex, age, size of tumor, side of tumor, maximum diameter of individual lobe, occult metastasis, and operating surgeon. The study involved 340 patients who underwent surgery for PTC at the Department of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Zagreb University Hospital Centre, between February 25, 2013 and January 3, 2016. Postoperative hypocalcemia incidence rates were higher in the total thyroidectomy group than in the completion thyroidectomy group (37.8% and 29.0%, respectively). However, these differences were not statistically significant. Every analyzed potential predictive factor was proven not to have any correlation with postoperative hypocalcemia. This study demonstrated that there was no significant difference between postoperative hypocalcemia rates in patients who underwent completion thyroidectomy compared with patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for PTC.
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