NYMC Faculty Publications

Thyroidectomy in a Surgical Volunteerism Mission: Analysis of 464 Consecutive Cases

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Journal of Thyroid Research

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Although surgical volunteer missions (SVMs) have become a popular approach for reducing the burden of surgical disease worldwide, the outcomes of specific procedures in the context of a mission are underreported. The aim of this study was to evaluate outcomes and efficiency of thyroid surgery within a surgical mission. This was a retrospective analysis of medical records of all patients who underwent thyroid surgery within a SVM from 2006 to 2019. Postoperative complication rate was the safety endpoint, whereas length of hospital stay (LOS) was the efficiency endpoint. Serious complications were defined as Clavien-Dindo class 3-5 complications. Expected safety and efficiency outcomes were calculated using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) surgical risk calculator and compared to their observed counterparts. A total of 464 thyroidectomies were performed during the study period. Mean age of the patients was 40.3 +/- 10.8 years, and male-to-female ratio was 72 : 392. Expected overall (p=0.127) and serious complication rates (p=0.738) were not significantly different from their observed counterparts. Expected LOS was found to be significantly shorter as compared to its observed counterpart (0.6 +/- 0.2 vs. 2.5 +/- 1.0 days; p < 0.001). This study found thyroid surgery performed within a surgical mission to be safe. NSQIP surgical risk calculator underestimates the LOS following thyroidectomy in surgical missions.

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