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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


GAC E, Patricio et al. Incidence of hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2007, vol.135, n.1, pp. 26-30. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Postoperative hypocalcemia is one of the most common complications of thyroid surgery. It is related to the type of disease (malignant or benign), the number of identified parathyroid glands during the surgical procedure, and the surgeon's experience. Total thyroidectomy is the procedure of choice in our hospital for benign and malignant thyroid disease, but it can increase the incidence of complications. Aim: To evaluate the incidence of postoperative hypocalcemia in patients subjected to a total thyroidectomy. Material and methods: Two studies were performed. A retrospective review of medical records of 448 patients subjected to total thyroidectomy, looking for serum calcium levels of less than 8 mg/dl and clinical signs of hypocalcemia. In a second study, 45 patients were followed with measurements of preoperative and postoperative serum calcium levels. Results: In the retrospective study, only 136 records had reliable information. Clinical signs of hypocalcemia were registered in 14% of patients and a low serum calcium level was detected in 50%. In the prospective study, 42% of patients had a postoperative low serum calcium level and seven patients (15%) had symptoms. Patients were handled with oral calcium and calcitriol in some cases. Ninety nine percent of patients had normal serum calcium levels two moths after surgery. Conclusions: In this series, the rate of postoperative hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy is similar to internaitonal reports

Palabras clave : Hypocalcemia; Thyroidectomy; Thyroid diseases.

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