• Limited subtotal thyroidectomy was performed in 42 of 43 patients with Graves' disease. Twenty of 23 patients (87%) who were followed up for an average of 54 months after operation remained euthyroid. Only one patient (4.3%) had recurrent thyrotoxicosis. There were no deaths and no permanent complications. A coexisting, invasive papillary cancer necessitated total thyroidectomy in one patient, and occult papillary cancers were discovered histologically in three others. This study supports the thesis that postoperative thyroid function depends on the volume of remaining thyroid tissue. While preserving thyroid function, limited subtotal thyroidectomy lowers postoperative complications and induces no increase in recurrent thyrotoxicosis.
(Arch Surg 1981;116:561-565)