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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 319-324

Early discharge and selective calcium supplementation after thyroidectomy based on post-operative day 1 parathormone and calcium level: A prospective study

1 Department of Endocrine and Breast Surgery, Velammal Medical College and Research Centre, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Biostatistics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Endocrine Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Suganya Sekar
Department of Endocrine and Breast Surgery, Velammal Medical College and Research Centre, Anuppanadi, Madurai - 625 009, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_172_20

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Aim: This study aimed to evaluate a protocol using post thyroidectomy parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels on the day after surgery to facilitate early discharge of patients. Methods: This prospective observational study was done in Christian Medical College, India over 1 year with 125 consecutive patients who had serum PTH and calcium values measured in the morning following thyroidectomy/ first postoperative day (D1). Patients with no symptoms and signs of hypocalcemia and with serum calcium ≥8 mg/dL and PTH ≥6 pg/ml according to the protocol were discharged without supplements on D1. Patients were followed up and tested for a week after surgery in the outpatient clinic to assess hypocalcemia and readmission rates. Results: Seventy five patients (60%) could be discharged early on D1without calcium supplementation; only one patient had mild hypocalcemia symptoms managed with oral calcium supplements during outpatient follow-up within 1 week and none who followed the protocol required readmission. Temporary biochemical hypocalcemia was encountered in 36 patients (28.8%) including symptomatic hypocalcemia in 13 patients (10.4%). Among the 36 patients with hypocalcemia, 26 patients (72.2%) had a PTH level <6 pg/ml. Three patients required intravenous calcium infusion to correct hypocalcemia. Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value, and ROC of PTH 6 pg/ml in predicting hypocalcemia were 70.5%, 94.5% and 83.3%, 0.86, respectively. The low PTH could also guide early supplementation of calcium and all the severe hypocalcemia patients had PTH lower than the cut off of 6 pg/ml. Conclusion: A PTH and calcium-based protocol can be effectively used for early discharge of thyroidectomy patients the day after surgery without calcium supplementation. The compliance of the patient for early discharge was good.

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