Clinical Outcomes of a Team Approach to Thyroidectomy.
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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to assess the rates of thyroidectomy complications performed by two attending surgeons operating together. STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective chart review. METHODS: This is a retrospective chart review from September 2008 through October 2013 of thyroidectomy cases performed by the head and neck team at Sanford Health. The primary intervention was the presence of two head and neck attendings during each procedure. Outcomes assessed include rates of temporary and permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis, and of permanent hypocalcemia. RESULTS: There were 282 patients that underwent a thyroid procedure with a total of 449 at-risk nerves. There were five (1.1 percent) cases of transient vocal cord paresis. There was one case (0.22 percent) of permanent vocal cord paresis after planned nerve resection in a patient with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. There were no other cases of permanent vocal cord paresis. Of 156 total thyroidectomy cases, there was one case of chronic hypocalcemia (0.64 percent). CONCLUSIONS: A two-surgeon approach to thyroidectomy produces excellent functional outcomes. Further investigation into cost-effectiveness is warranted.
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