Reoperative thyroid surgery is an uncommon operation associated with a high complication rate. We retrospectively reviewed the data of 115 patients to study the incidence of complications after reoperative thyroid surgery. There were 107 women and 8 men (13.4:1.0) with an average age of 42.8 years (range 18–80 years). The most frequent indication for reoperation was completion thyroidectomy for a carcinoma identified by permanent sections (50 patients, 43.5%). Reoperative surgery was performed on 13 (11.3%) patients with recurrent thyroid cancer. The remaining 52 patients underwent reoperation for recurrent thyrotoxicosis (12 patients, 10.4%), recurrent nodular goiter (28 patients, 24.3%) or recurrent multinodular goiter (12 patients, 10.4%). Seven patients with recurrent nodular goiter and one patient with recurrent thyrotoxicosis underwent total thyroidectomy for the presence of malignancies that were identified by frozen sections. Overall, the interval between the initial and reoperative procedures ranged from 1 day to 33 years (2335 ± 272 days). The length of hospital stay was 5.8 ± 0.5 days. The length of time needed for reoperative thyroid surgery was 122.0 ± 6.2 minutes. There was no 30-day perioperative mortality. The postoperative complications consisted of transient hypoparathyroidism in six patients (5.2%), permanent hypoparathyroidism in two patients (1.7%), transient RLN palsy in 3 patients (2.6%), and permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy in two patients (1.7%). Reoperative thyroid surgery can be performed safely with little morbidity to the patient.
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