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Original Article
September 1977

Thyroid Surgery in Children and Teenagers

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Ching and Warden) and Pediatrics (Dr Fefferman), Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1977;103(9):544-546. doi:10.1001/archotol.1977.00780260074010

• From 1961 to 1976 62 patients under age 20 underwent thyroidectomy for various thyroid disorders. Twenty-four thyroid lobectomies and eight subtotal or near-total thyroidectomies were performed for benign nodular goiter. Eight near-total thyroidectomies and two thyroid lobectomies were performed for carcinoma. Two patients also had a radical neck dissection. Twenty patients with hyperthyroidism underwent near-total thyroidectomy. Postoperative complications occurred in six patients—all with hyperthyroidism. Operative mortality was zero.

Two indications for thyroidectomy in our series were nodular goiter (to rule out carcinoma), and hyperthyroidism (that was not well-controlled medically or where surgery was chosen as primary therapy).

In patients with nodular goiters that required surgery, a minimal complication rate occurred. By contrast, surgery for hyperthyroidism was associated with a high postoperative complication rate, six of 20 patients or 30%, which must be anticipated by the surgeon.

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