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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2011 June;66(3):197-205

language: Italian

A single effective way to reduce post-thyroidectomy discomfort: a clinical trial

Rettori M. 1, Feroci F. 1, Borrelli A. 1, Ottaviano A. 2, Coppola A. 3, Castagnoli A. 3, Scatizzi M. 1

1 General Surgery Unit, Misericordia and Dolce Hospital, Prato, Italy;
2 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Misericordia and Dolce Hospital, Prato, Italy;
3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Misericordia and Dolce Hospital, Prato, Italy


AIM: Nausea, with or without vomiting (postoperative nausea and vomiting, PONV), occurs up to 60-76% after thyroidectomy and other head and neck surgeries. Due to the fact that patients typically have only mild-to-moderate pain after thyroid or parathyroid surgery, PONV might be the main source of discomfort, and it may be perceived as the most unpleasant aspect of postoperative recovery. This study aims to assess the effects of a preoperative single dose of 8 mg dexamethasone on the nausea, vomiting, pain, and subjective vocal function after thyroidectomy in patients undergoing surgery for benign disease.
METHODS:Seventy patients operated on for thyroidectomy were randomized in two groups: Group A, 8 mg/2 mL of dexamethasone administered in 100 mL of physiologic saline given intravenously (i.v.) 20 minutes before the induction of anesthesia; group B, 2 mL NaCl 0.9% in 100 mL of physiologic saline. Postoperative therapy has been standardized. PONV have been evaluated with a scale of 4, degrees (0-3), pain by a Visual Analog Scale (0-100) and subjective vocal function by a Visual Analog Scale (0-100) at 8, 24, 32 and 48 hours after surgery.
RESULTS: The severity of nausea was less in patients of group A (P=0.0001); Dexamethasone patients reported significantly less pain (P=0.008); no differences were noted about the subjective voice analysis (P=0.693). No steroid-related complications occurred.
CONCLUSION: Dexamethasone 8 mg i.v. is a safe and effective method to reduce PONV and pain after thyroid resection and we advise its routine use.

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