ABSTRACT: Objective: The incidence of and risk factors for hypocalcemia following thyroidectomy were evaluated in this study. Material and Methods: One hundred and ninety thyroidectomy patients were evaluated retrospectively for factors that might contribute to postoperative hypocalcemia; age, hyperthyroidism, malignancy, the extent of surgery (total/near total/subtotal thyroidectomy), cervical lymph node dissection, and incidental parathyroidectomy. Results: The rate of transient hypocalcemia/hypoparathyroidism was 19.47%, with a permanent hypoparathyroidism rate of 4.74%. Factors affecting the development of transient hypocalcemia were found as being operated for hyperthyroidism, and use of total thyroidectomy as the surgical method. Total thyroidectomy increased the risk of postoperative hypocalcemia by 3.16 fold. Patients undergoing operations for hyperthyroidism had a 2.3 fold increase, and those undergoing total thyroidectomy had a 3.16 fold risk of postoperative hypocalcemia. Conclusion: Hyperthyroidism surgery and total thyroidectomy lead to a higher risk of developing early postoperative or transient hypocalcemia. According to our results, no significant relationship could be established between any of the study parameters and persistent hypocalcemia. Key Words: Thyroidectomy, transient hypocalcemia, permanent hypoparathyroidism, risk factors.
Turkish Journal of Surgery 12/2013; 29:171-176.