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Quality of life and patient satisfaction in outpatient thyroid surgery


In the last three decades surgeons have begun to perform outpatient thyroid surgery (OTS). Important outcome measures of a day-hospital procedure are the patient’s quality of life (QoL) and satisfaction, but information on these issues in the OTS setting is scanty. The aim of this pilot study was to explore how early discharge after thyroidectomy affects patients’ QoL and satisfaction. Postoperative QoL and satisfaction were assessed retrospectively by giving each patient a self-report questionnaire specifically created in our center for OTS and derived from the post-discharge surgical recovery (PSR) scale to assess physical and mental well-being. Twenty-three of 24 patients (96%), 16 women and 7 men with a median age of 48 years (range 16–72), completed the questionnaire, answering 92% of the questions. QoL based on this scale gave a median score of 81.8% (range 62–98.8%). No major or minor complications occurred in the study group. Regarding QoL eight patients (35%) reported feeling “tired all the time” and six patients (26%) reported mild pain, which in two cases resolved spontaneously. Regarding patient satisfaction two-thirds of patients judged OTS positively while the remaining one-third would not recommend it. Our study showed very good uptake by patients of a new questionnaire dedicated to OTS as a possible aid in the identification of areas for improvement of OTS management. However, to be considered a safe procedure with maximum patient compliance and satisfaction, OTS was found to require considerable effort by hospital staff and patients’ caregivers compared to inpatient thyroid surgery.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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We would like to thank Marije de Jager for help with the English, and the staff of the day-surgery unit for their collaboration.


No funding was received.

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Correspondence to Luca Cozzaglio.

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All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible institutional and national committees and the Helsinki declaration of 1975 as revised in 1983.

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Cozzaglio, L., Monzani, R., Zuccarelli, A. et al. Quality of life and patient satisfaction in outpatient thyroid surgery. Updates Surg (2021).

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  • Quality of life
  • Satisfaction
  • Outpatient
  • Day hospital
  • Thyroid surgery