Introduction: The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the feasibility and outcome of day case thyroidectomy in an ambulatory surgery centre in Hong Kong.
Methods: Patients with day case thyroidectomy carried out between July 2005 and December 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Day surgery was offered to patients satisfying the selection criteria for day case and having from benign unilobular thyroid disease.
Results: Fifty patients had hemithyroidectomy carried out during the study period. There were 6 men and 44 women and the mean (standard deviation SD) age was 45.6 years (7.4 years). All patients were American Society for Anesthesiologists grade I (76%) or II (34%). The mean (SD) operative time was 79.5 min (17 min). Twelve patients had episodes of postoperative nausea and vomiting. The mean (SD) analgesic requirement was 0.7 tablets (0.5 tablets) of combination acetaminophen and phenyltoloxamine citrate before discharge. The mean (SD) time to discharge was 7.5 h (0.7 h). The overall discharge rate was 98% and the complication rate was 8%. One patient was observed overnight because of postoperative haematoma. One patient had recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. There were no unplanned readmissions postoperatively. Three patients had unsuspected thyroid malignancy on histopathology.
Conclusion: This study showed the feasibility and safety of day case thyroidectomy. The setting was not associated with any increase in morbidity or mortality and has the potential in reducing hospital costs.