Total Thyroidectomy versus Subtotal Thyroidectomy for Benign Thyroid Disease: Complication Rates in 214 Cases

Traditionally, Subtotal Thyroidectomy (ST) has been considered the standard surgical treatment for benign thyroid disorder because of its safety compared with Total Thyroidectomy (TT). However, with the recent introduction of safe surgical technique, TT for benign thyroid disease is being performed more frequently. Pitfalls of ST include high recurrence rate and malignancy in the remnant thyroid tissue. In this study, we compare the complication rates after ST and TT. During 3 years period 214 thyroidectomies for benign thyroid disease were performed in our hospital: 51(ST), 98(TT) and 65 lobectomy. Permanent hypocalcaemia was observed in 2 cases of ST group and 3 cases of TT group (difference is not statistically significant). Permanent RLN palsy complicated in 1 case in the ST group and 2 cases in the TT group difference is not statistically significant. In the ST group 8 cases developed recurrence of primary disease for which they need to be reoperated. Histopathological examination of the resected specimens revealed incidental micro carcinoma in 10 cases. We conclude that TT for benign thyroid disease is of comparable safety to ST with the advantage that it eliminates the possibility of malignancy in the thyroid remnants or recurrence of the primary disease.