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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 June;58(3):321-30


language: Italian

Risk of recurrence following partial thyroidectomy for benign lesions. Report of 58 patients 15-25 years after surgery

Basili G., Biagini C., Manetti A., Martini F., Biliotti G.


Background. Since the 1980's, thanks to the introduction of new techniques and methods for the study of thyroid function, new light has been shed on certain aspects of thyroid disease that constitute the basis for surgical therapy. Multinodular goiter is a disorder affecting the entire gland, even when alterations mostly or exclusively involve a single lobe. The functional deficit resulting from partial or subtotal resection has a hypertophic/hyperplastic effect on the remaining parenchyma. Partial resections often lead to postoperative hypothyroidism, usually of a subclinical nature, which implies difficult management by means of replacement therapy.
Methods. The authors report a series of 58 patients who underwent partial thyroidectomy to treat benign thyroid disease at the 2nd Surgical Department of the University of Florence during the period 1975-1985.
Results. Of these patients, operated on more than 15 years ago, 36.2%‹the majority of whom (87.5%) have constantly been on substitutive therapy using L-thyroxin‹currently shows no alteration of the remaining parenchyma. Conversely, in 60.3% of the patients there was evidence of nodular/pseudonodular alterations; in this group, only 40% of the patients were on substitutive therapy. There seems to be no doubt that, with few exceptions, disease involving an apparently circumscribed area of the thyroid in reality affects the entire parenchyma.
Conclusions. Total thyroidectomy, therefore, represents the most appropriate treatment for multinodular goiter, even when the disease is limited to one lobe, thereby providing a cure for the disease and at the same time a state of euthyroidism easily achieved with the proper therapy.

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