Background and Purpose: Thyroidectomy is a common treatment for thyroid disorders in Taiwan, and constitutes a significant percentage of medical expenses. This study investigated the characteristics of thyroidectomy in Taiwan. Methods: A total of 21 senior general surgeons from 16 medical centers and 5 regional hospitals participated. One surgeon from each hospital reviewed the hospital's medical records of thyroid operations performed in the year 2001. Medical records for 3846 thyroidectomies were retrospectively analyzed, including surgical indications and modalities, complications, pathology reports, and the use of antibiotics. Results: Most of the patients were women (85%). Indications for surgery included proven malignancy (9%), suspicious malignancy (30%), evident compression symptoms (20%), hyperthyroidism (20%), and cosmetic reasons (12%). The majority of patients (78%) underwent a surgical procedure with lobectomy or bilateral thyroidectomy; 13% had unilateral partial thyroidectomy. Prophylactic antibiotics were administered in 46% of procedures, and continued postoperatively in 12%. Postoperative complications occurred in 12% of patients. Hypocalcemia was the most common complication (8%), and its incidence was significantly correlated with the frequency of total thyroidectomy (p < 0.01). Complete pathology reports for the thyroidectomized specimens were available in only 65% of the cases. The frequency of cosmetic reasons for surgery, unilateral subtotal resection, routine antibiotic administration, and incomplete pathology reports were significantly higher in regional hospitals than in medical centers. Conclusions: Reduction in the high rates of cosmetic reasons for surgery, unilateral partial thyroidectomy, incomplete pathology reports, and use of antibiotic prophylaxis are needed to improve the quality of thyroidectomy in Taiwan.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the Formosan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
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