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August 1925


Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Surgical Research, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Arch Surg. 1925;11(2):200-218. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1925.01120140031003

The mortality in thyroid operations during the last fifty years has decreased so extensively that in nontoxic goiters it is almost negligible, while in the toxic types it is only from 2 to 5 per cent. Various factors have brought about these reductions. Owing to the invention of the artery clamp by Paeon1 and the researches of Streckeisen2 and Kocher3 on the blood supply of the thyroid gland, hemorrhage has been removed as the prime cause of death. Rose4 called attention to the importance of tracheal compression, and the possibility of asphyxia due to tracheal obstruction. The rôle of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury as a possible contributory cause of death was emphasized by Seitz.5 Today, the earlier operation, the better preoperative preparation, the use of gas and oxygen and of local anesthesia, the improved operative technic and the important changes in after-treatment have aided greatly

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