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July 31, 1967

The Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

Author Affiliations

Cambridge, Mass

JAMA. 1967;201(5):331. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130050064028

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To the Editor:—  Your editorialist reaches this conclusion: "In the present state of our knowledge surgical thyroidectomy appears to offer significant advantages over any other form of treatment." He dismissed the complication of surgery with the statement that "recent reports from many centers list many thousands of consecutive operations for hyperthyroidism with no mortality and extremely low morbidity and complication rates."We are correctly quoted as having written, "The complications of myxedema after 131I therapy cannot be dismissed as trivial and may indeed imply morbidity and mortality rates higher than those of surgical thyroidectomy for the same patient" (New Eng J Med271:195, 1964). We would like to quote further from our own paper: "Each kind of treatment has its own advantages and disadvantages, and a choice among them requires a careful assessment of all the information available as well as a sure appraisal of the patient." This