24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
AHA News: Culture, Paycheck, Neighborhood Key to Your Heart's HealthDrug Combo Does Double Duty Against Common Skin Lesions, CancersBe Prepared to Take FAST Action If You Suspect a StrokeHeart Risks Vary Among Asian-AmericansAHA News: Emphysema May Raise Risk of Ruptured AneurysmsNew Facial Bone Might Someday Be Grown From the Patient's RibWhat Works Best for Women Struggling With a Leaky Bladder?Your Apple Watch Might Help Spot a Dangerous Irregular HeartbeatDocs Back Away From Low-Dose Aspirin for Heart Attack PreventionAHA News: Overweight Kids at Higher Risk for Blood Clots as AdultsEbola Survivors Continue to Suffer Years After RecoveryFewer Boys Are Suffering Head Injuries, But Rate Rises for GirlsAHA News: Black Woman in Their 50s Face Especially High Stroke RiskNew Drug Could Help Those With Tough-to-Treat CholesterolWhen Can Kids Return to Play After a Concussion?Need to Be Vaccinated? Try Your Local PharmacyOne-Third of U.S. Kids Have Back Pain, Study SaysBlacks, Hispanics Bear Burden of Air Pollution: StudyChickens Help Scientists Pinpoint Origin of Rare, Deadly VirusDry Eye and Migraines Might Be Linked: StudySkin Fungi May Be Tied to Bowel DiseaseYo-Yo Dieting Can Take a Toll on Your HeartAHA News: Opioid Meds Pose Danger to Kidney Disease PatientsHealth Tip: UTI Warning SignsStaph Infections Drop, but Levels Still Worry U.S. Health OfficialsTreatment May Allow Allergic Kids to Eat Eggs Safely: StudyAcne Drug Accutane May Not Depress Mood After AllHealth Tip: Preventing Carpal TunnelMajor Flooding Can Bring Skin Infection DangersSmall Trial Provides New Hope Against Parkinson's DiseaseIs Your Hand Pain Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel or Something Else?California Parents Are Getting Around Vaccine Law, Fueling Measles OutbreaksSeniors With UTIs Need Antibiotics ASAP, Study SaysWhy Do Some Kids With Eczema Develop Food Allergies?High-Fiber Diet May Help Gut 'Microbiome' Battle MelanomaTick Bites More Likely to Cause Red Meat Allergy Than ThoughtWalking, Not Riding, Boosts Health in Golfers With Knee WoesIs At-Home Stool Test a Viable Alternative to Colonoscopy?After Peanut Allergy Rx, Eating Small Bits of Peanut Might Help: StudyA Hard Look at Smoking's Effect on VisionPeanut Allergy Patch Shows Middling Results in TrialToxins in Home Furnishings Can Be Passed on to KidsKratom-Related Poisonings Are Soaring, Study FindsFDA Aims to Strengthen Sunscreen RulesBrain Condition CTE Seen in H.S. Football Players: StudyPregnant Women Should Delay Gallbladder Surgery, Study FindsGut Microbes May Help Drive Lupus, Study FindsMost Hip, Knee Replacements Last Decades, Study FindsAHA News: Living Near Convenience Stores Could Raise Risk of Artery-Clogging ConditionPossible Parkinson's 'Pandemic' Looms: Report
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Thyroid Surgery Complications Can Land Some Back in the Hospital

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: Jan 8th 2019

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid can trigger side effects that send some patients back to the hospital, a new study finds.

These side effects include tingling in the fingers that can become tremors and spasms in all muscles of the body -- including the heart and muscles surrounding the lungs.

"The information we gleaned is directly applicable to patient care, and suggests more careful immediate follow-up for patients at high risk for side effects and complications of surgery," said study author Dr. Alliric Willis. He is co-director of the Jefferson Thyroid and Parathyroid Center of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Removing the thyroid is usually a safe procedure. However, some of the side effects of the operation can be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized, Willis explained in a university news release.

For the study, the researchers used the 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database to collect data on nearly 23,000 patients who had thyroid surgery. The procedures were done to cure cancer, treat goiter (an enlarged thyroid), or manage an overactive thyroid.

In all, 4 percent were hospitalized again within 30 days. Most of these patients were readmitted within a week after surgery. Of the patients that needed readmission, 25 percent returned within two days, the researchers found.

"Although 4 percent is less than estimates from earlier, smaller studies, it still amounts to nearly 1,000 patients per year whose symptoms are severe enough to seek immediate medical attention and need admission to the hospital," said first author Dr. Arturo Rios-Diaz, a surgical resident at Thomas Jefferson University.

The researchers found that those at the highest risk of being hospitalized were those with Medicare and Medicaid. Also at risk were patients who had low calcium levels after surgery and those who remained in the hospital two days or more after surgery.

Low calcium levels, or hypocalcemia, is the most common side effect and is usually caused by damage to or removal of the parathyroid glands. The condition can be treated with calcium pills.

"Although the standard treatment for hypocalcemia is simple, patients have to be able to get their medications after discharge from their surgery," Willis said.

"Patients on Medicaid and Medicare could find it financially or logistically difficult to obtain the treatment before the symptoms begin and worsen," he suggested.

Willis said patients should be checked on by phone in the first days after leaving the hospital, when they have the greatest risk for complications.

The report was published Jan. 3 in the journal Surgery.

More information

Visit the American Thyroid Association for more on thyroid surgery.