source: Ear, Nose, & Throat Journal
Kus LH, Hopman WM, Witterick IJ, Freeman JL
Historically, research into surgical treatment of Graves disease has assessed subtotal rather than total thyroidectomy. Most clinicians now recommend total thyroidectomy, but little information is available regarding quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes for this procedure. Our aim was to assess QOL after total thyroidectomy. This is a retrospective, pilot study of patients with Graves disease who underwent total thyroidectomy from 1991 to 2007 at a high-volume tertiary referral center in Toronto, Canada. Questionnaires addressing disease-specific symptoms and global QOL concerns were sent to 54 patients. Analyses included parametric and nonparametric tests to assess the differences between perception of symptoms and global QOL before and after surgery.
Forty patients responded (response rate: 74%) at a median of 4.8 years postoperatively. On a 10-point scale, overall wellness improved from 4.1 preoperatively to 8.7 postoperatively (p < 0.001). Patients recalled missing less work or school after surgery (7.8 vs. 1.1 days/year; p = 0.001). Overall satisfaction with the procedure was high. On average, symptoms improved within 32 days of surgery, and all symptoms showed substantial improvement.
This is the first North American study to assess QOL outcomes of patients with Graves disease after total thyroidectomy. Patients experienced marked and rapid improvement in QOL postoperatively. These findings suggest that total thyroidectomy is a safe and effective treatment.
Mount Sinai Hospital, Canada