How we do it: Dispensing with drains in hemithyroidectomy – a feasibility study


C. Hopkins, Carmay, Chelsfield Lane, Orpington, Kent BR6 7RR, UK, Tel.: +79 71 52 7920; E-mail:


• The NHS plan states that 75% of all elective surgery should be carried out as day cases, but reports confirm that we are falling well below such targets.

• The use of the harmonic scalpel in thyroidectomy in our department has facilitated faster surgery, minimal intra-operative haemorrhage, and reduced postoperative blood loss into the drain.

• We propose that patients with small solitary nodules (<25 cm3 on preoperative ultrasound) undergoing hemithyroidectomy for diagnostic purposes are candidates for selective use of drains, or where used, early removal of the drain and same day discharge.