Goiter has received medical and surgical attention, as annals of medicine make record, from time immemorial. Because of its conspicuous location, diseases of the thyroid are far more noticeable than those of other duct-bearing or ductless glands, and yet most of the knowledge concerning it has been acquired within the last fifty years. The chronic character or cyclic recurrence of some diseases of the thyroid is evidenced by the remarkable number of remedies, supposed to be exceedingly effectual, which have been used in their treatment; surgery was employed only as a last resort. Because of the high mortality, most operations were done only when necessitated by obstruction to respiration or circulation. A surgical vicious circle ensued; a high mortality led to late operation, and late operation to a high mortality. The seriousness and frequency of infection was also a great factor in retarding surgery, and progress was not made until
MAYO CH. THE PRINCIPLES OF THYROID SURGERY. JAMA. 1918;71(9):710–712. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1918.02600350014005
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