Drain versus non drain in thyroid surgery

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Fadhil Ahmed Mohialdeen

Abstract

The use of a suction drain in thyroid surgery is common practice in order to avoid hematomas or seromas. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of inserting a routine drainage tube after thyroid surgery. In this retrospective study, 102 patients who underwent either a total thyroidectomy for thyroid disorders were assigned to either the drained or the non-drained groups. The length of hospital stays, postoperative pain, patient comfortability and complications were retrieved. Both groups were homogeneous according to age, gender, type of procedure performed, histopathological diagnosis residency and marital status. No significant difference was found between the two groups in post-operative complications, but the length of hospital stay was significantly reduced in non-drained group (p<0.0001), and drained group needed one more dose of analgesics compared to non-drained group to alleviate the post-operative pain. Our findings, suggesting that the use of drain for thyroid surgery cannot lower the incidence of complications. Furthermore, the use of drains may increase length of hospital stay, postoperative-pain, and the need of analgesic and contribute to the discomfort of the patients. Hence, the routine insertion of drains after total thyroidectomy for benign disorders might not be necessary.

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