NYMC Faculty Publications

Patient Satisfaction Following Thyroidectomy in Surgical Mission: A Prospective Study

Journal Title

Gland Surgery

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Publication Date

August 2019




Background: Surgical volunteer mission is a well-recognized approach for reducing the burden of surgical disease worldwide. The aim of this study was to evaluate safety and patient satisfaction of thyroid surgery in the context of surgical mission carried out in Bohol Province, Philippines. Methods: This was a prospective study involving consecutive patients undergoing thyroid surgery in the surgical mission held in 2018. Informed consent was obtained from the patients. Safety defined as observed serious postoperative complication rate as compared to its expected based on American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) was the primary endpoint, whereas patient satisfaction rated on a 5-point Likert scale was the secondary endpoint. Expected serious complication rate was calculated using the surgical risk calculator of NSQIP. Thyroid surgery included partial resections, hemi-, subtotal, and total thyroidectomies. Results: Thirty-eight patients underwent thyroidectomy performed by 4 surgeons in 2018 mission. Mean age of the patients was 40.6+/-11.3 years. Male to female ratio was 2:36. Goiter was the indication for surgery in 33 (86.8%) patients, whereas 5 (13.2%) patients were operated for thyroid malignancy. Postoperative serious complication and reoperation occurred in 1/38 (2.6%) for hematoma on first postoperative day. Expected and observed serious complication rates did not differ (1.1% vs. 2.6%; P=0.385). Ninety-seven percent of patients were satisfied with outcomes of surgery. Conclusions: This prospective cohort study found thyroid surgery performed within a surgical mission to be safe. Patient satisfaction rate was 97%. Further research is needed to develop and validate patient satisfaction assessment tools in surgical missions.