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Hypocalcaemia after subtotal thyroidectomy for thyrotoxicosis

Hypocalcaemia after subtotal thyroidectomy for thyrotoxicosis

British Journal of Surgery 71(8): 589-590

Eighty-one patients who underwent subtotal thyroidectomy for thyrotoxicosis had a 10 per cent incidence of symptomatic hypocalcaemia (corrected calcium less than 2.0 mmol/l) but only a 1.2 per cent incidence of prolonged hypocalcaemia. In the same patients only one had a transient right sided recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy. These results would seem to confirm the wisdom of lateral ligation of the inferior thyroid arteries to protect the recurrent laryngeal nerve. They lend no support to the suggestion that in order to protect parathyroid function this teaching be abandoned in favour of a policy of ligation of the arteries on the surface of the gland. Nevertheless, injury, devascularization or inadvertent removal of parathyroid tissue must still be the first practical consideration.

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Accession: 043306171

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PMID: 6743975

DOI: 10.1002/bjs.1800710806

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