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BMC Geriatrics

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Volume 10 Supplement 1

de Senectute: Age and Health Forum

Open Access

Thyroid surgery in an elderly population

  • F Viano1,
  • C Terranova2,
  • S Ricciardi1,
  • E Mion1,
  • R Gianesini1,
  • S Faccin1,
  • M Giachetti3,
  • M Masciavè4 and
  • L De Santis1
BMC Geriatrics201010(Suppl 1):A37

https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2318-10-S1-A37

Published: 19 May 2010

Background

The increase in life expectancy over the past 20-30 years has caused major changes in the average age of patients hospitalized in surgical wards. The thyroid disease is common in the elderly population [1]. Elderly patients, especially with co-morbidity, are at increased operative risk [2]; the pre-operative selection and perioperative monitoring have to be more accurate than in young patients; a lack of compentence in these phases can result in clinical and medico-legal consequences.

The aim of the study was to present a retrospective analysis of 124 elderly patients who had undergone thyroid surgery at the Department of Surgery Hospital of Valdagno.

Patients and method

The study included 124 patients (26 male, 98 female), aged above 60 (average age 67,34 maximum 60 and 80 years old) that undergone thyroid surgery between 2005 and September 2009 (Table 1). 24 patients were ASA 1, 82 ASA 2 and 18 ASA 3 (Table 1).

Table 1

 

No

%

Male

26

21

Female

98

79

Age (range)

67 (60 – 80)

 

ASA score %

  

1

24

19

2

82

67

3

18

14

Endocrinological examination, evaluation of the mobility of the vocal cords, thyroid hormones dosing and ultrasound evaluation of the thyroid, were performed before the operation.

113 total thyroidectomy and 11 hemityroidectomy were carried out; 106 patients were operated on for benign diseases (toxic and non toxic multinodular goiter, Graves' disease, adenoma) 18 for malignant disease (follicular cancer, papillary carcinoma) (Table 2).
Table 2

Surgical indications

Multinodular goiter

52

Mediastinic Goiter

19

Toxic Multinodular goiter

12

Graves’ disease

9

Adenoma

4

Papillary carcinoma

14

Follicolar Cancer

6

Results

The average hospitalization length was 6.1 days (5-8 days). Complications occurred in 12 patients (9.6%): 1 case of transient bilateral vocal cord paralysis requiring the execution of a tracheostomy with complete resolution after 10 days, 10 cases of transient hypocalcemia treated with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements and 1 case of postoperative bleeding. There was no postoperative mortality.

Conclusions

Population ageing will determine an increase of thyroid surgical procedure in elderly patients.

The analysis of the data provided showed that thyroid surgery in the elderly can be performed with satisfactory results with an incidence of complications similar to those observed in young patients [3].

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Surgery, Division of Surgery , Ospedale “San Lorenzo”
(2)
Department of Environmental medicine and public health, Section of Legal Medicine, Hospital-University of Padova
(3)
Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology service, Ospedale “San Lorenzo”
(4)
Department of Emergency Medicine, Ospedale di Ivrea (TO)

References

  1. Denham MJ, Willis EJ: A Clinico-Pathological Survey of Thyroid Glands in Old Age. Gerontology. 1980, 26: 160-166. 10.1159/000212409.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Turrentine FE, Wang H, Simpson VB, Jones RS: Surgical risk factors, morbidity and mortality in elderly patients. J Am Coll Surg. 2006, 203 (6): 865-77. 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2006.08.026.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Trottier DC, Barron P, Moonje V, Tadros S: Outpatient thyroid surgery: Should patients be discharged on the day of their procedures?. J Can Chir. 2009, 3: 182-186.Google Scholar

Copyright

© Viano et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

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