Incidence of early post thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia effect of bilateral ligation of the inferior thyroid arteries, type of operation and surgeon experience

  • E Ahmed
  • KA Alkanzi
  • YMA Elfadeel


Background and aims: Early hypocalcaemia is a common complication following thyroid surgery.
Objectives: The objectives of this paper are to identify the incidence and fate of early post thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia, and to study its relation to bilateral ligation of the inferior thyroid arteries, to the type of the   operation, and the operator experience.
Materials and method: In this prospective study fifty patients who   underwent thyroidectomy between May 2010 and May 2011 at Omdurman teaching hospital were evaluated. Information regarding age, sex,  operative details, and serum calcium level (pre operatively, one day and after one week postoperatively) were collected.
Results: The incidence of postoperative hypocalcaemia was about 22%. During one week serum calcium level returned to normal without calcium replacement therapy except in three patients. Early post thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia occurred in 38.5% of patients who underwent total thyroidectomy which represents 10% of all patients who developed  hypocalcaemia (P=, 2). Ligation of the inferior thyroid arteries was done in 23 patients, four of them (17, 4%) (8% of all) developed postoperative hypocalcaemia (P=, 4). Registrars operated on thirty patients. Six of them (20%) (12%of all) developed low calcium level (P=, 7).
Conclusion: Transient post thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia was a common complication following thyroid operations. Total thyroidectomy increases the risk of postoperative hypocalcaemia, while ligation of the inferior thyroid arteries and operations done by registrars (once the technique is
mastered) did not increase this risk.

Keywords: hypoparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1858-5051