Value of total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease in eliminating the risk of recurrence and malignancy: retrospective database analysis of 574 Saudi Arabian patients in 10 years with 2 years follow up


  • Bader Hamza Shirah King Abdullah International Medical Research Center / King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Hamza Assad Shirah Department of General Surgery, Al Ansar General Hospital, Medina, Saudi Arabia



Thyroidectomy, Grave's disease, Hyperthyroidism, Hypocalemia, Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, Recurrence


Background: Graves' disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland and frequently results in hyperthyroidism and an enlarged thyroid. Treatment of Graves' disease includes antithyroid drugs, radioiodine (radioactive iodine I-131), and thyroidectomy, either total, or subtotal excision. In this paper, we aim to analyse the outcome of thyroidectomy performed on patients affected by Graves' disease in Medina – Saudi Arabia, and evaluate if thyroidectomy should be considered the first treatment option for all patients with Graves' disease.

Methods: A retrospective database analysis of the surgical treatment outcome of 574 Saudi Arabian patients who were affected with Graves' disease between January 2003 and December 2012 was done. The computerized database medical records were reviewed and analysed for preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors.  

Results: 194 (33.8%) patients were males, and 380 (66.2%) were females. The average age of patients was 44 ± 2 years. 154 (26.8%) had subtotal thyroidectomy, and 420 (73.2%) had total thyroidectomy performed. There was (0%) recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, and (0%) intraoperative complication were recorded. With a follow up time of 2 years, 7 (1.22%) patients developed recurrent disease (all in subtotal thyroidectomy group). There were no recurrences in the total thyroidectomy patients, and 11 (1.9%) patients were found in histopathology to have papillary thyroid cancer (all in total thyroidectomy group).

Conclusions: We conclude that total thyroidectomy is a safe and effective treatment modality for Graves' disease that offers rapid and long-lasting results, in addition to eliminating the risk of recurrence and malignancy. It should be offered to all confirmed Graves' disease patients during counselling.


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Original Research Articles