Total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease treatment.

Clin Ter. 2013 May-Jun;164(3):193-6. doi: 10.7417/CT.2013.1548.

Total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease treatment.




Graves' disease (GD) is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, and accounts worldwide for 60-80% of all cases. The diagnosis is based on clinical findings, and is confirmed by the presence of TRAB, suppression of TSH, and elevation of free thyroxin (free T4), and triiodinethyronin (free T3). GD can be treated by antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine, or surgery. The aim of this study was to review retrospectively the surgical management, in terms of safety and efficacy, in 50 patients operated in the Department of Surgical Sciences since 2005 through 2010 and followed up at the Endocrinology Unit A of the Experimental Medicine Department. We assessed postoperative complications, which included the presence, persistence and development of ophthalmopathy, transient hypocalcemia, permanent hypoparathyroidism and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy.


We analyzed data from 50 patients with GD who were eligible and underwent Total Thyroidectomy (TT). Thirty-nine patients underwent TT for recurrent hyperthyroidism after medical therapy and eleven patients for severe ophtalmopathy. The mean follow up was 41 months (range: 10-70).


Eleven patients had ophtalmopathy before surgery. Four patients developed an ophtalmopathy after surgery. Eleven patients presented hypocalcemia, transient in ten patients and permanent in one patient. Five patients developed a transient disphony. Conclusions. Total thyroidectomy is a safe and radical procedure in Graves' disease treatment. Complications of TT are not different than subtotal thyroidectomy if it's performed by expert surgeons.

PMID: 23868618 [PubMed - in process]