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May 1959

Exophthalmic Goiter, Thyroidectomy, and Life

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital.; Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(5):703-705. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320050035005

Many studies have been made of various thyroid problems; however, I am not aware of any previous attempt to ascertain the long-term therapeutic efficacy of subtotal thyroidectomies performed approximately 30 years ago for toxic diffuse exophthalmic goiter.

Available to us were the case files of Dr. Willard Bartlett Sr. and from them were drawn 100 consecutive cases, in the category just mentioned, in which the patients had undergone thyroidectomy 28 to 34 years ago. For inclusion in the series the thyroid gland had to be of the diffuse hyperplastic toxic variety, and the patient had to exhibit exophthalmos clinically so as to eliminate any possible doubt that we were dealing with true Graves disease in every case.

In view of the fact that an urban population so constantly shifts, we feared that it might be impossible to locate after a lapse of 30 years a majority of the persons under

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