American journal of surgery

Surgery for Graves' disease: a 25-year perspective.

PMID 24011567


Optimal treatment of Graves' disease (GD) remains controversial. The authors retrospectively reviewed the surgical cases of GD at a single academic tertiary center. Demographic, clinical, and surgical data were analyzed for all patients with GD undergoing thyroidectomy over 25 years, in 3 periods: 1985 to 1993 (n = 32), 1994 to 2002 (n = 91), and 2003 to 2010 (n = 177). There were 300 patients with GD (85.7% women; mean age, 39.3 years; median length of follow-up, 24.6 months). Overall, perioperative morbidity occurred in 36 patients (12.0%), and there was no mortality. Thyroidectomy-specific morbidity was very low, and the incidental malignancy rate was 10.3%. Surgical treatment of GD has a very high safety profile, with low perioperative and thyroidectomy-specific morbidity, even in patients with overt hyperthyroidism. Incidental malignancy in patients with GD is not uncommon.