Objectives: 1) Determine the safety of outpatient thyroidectomy in the geriatric patient population. 2) Analyze the risk of postoperative complications from thyroid surgery in patients aged over 65 years (elderly) and aged over 80 years (super-elderly) undergoing ambulatory thyroidectomy compared to patients aged 21 through 40 years. Study Design: A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients undergoing thyroidectomy between January 2008 and July 2015 at a tertiary academic institution. Method: Patients were stratified by age, and three subsets within this population were considered and analyzed further: youthful/control (aged 21–40 years), elderly (aged 65–79 years), and super-elderly (≥ 80 years). Patient demographics, surgical and pathological data, admission status, complication, and readmission rates were recorded. Results: A total of 1,429 thyroidectomies were accomplished; of these, 1,207 (84.5%) were outpatient operations. Among the outpatients, 85.2% were female, 14.1% were male, and the mean age was 50.3 ± 15.2 years. The control (youthful) group was comprised of 328 patients with a mean age of 33.3 years; the elderly group of 201 patients had a mean age of 70.3 years; and 16 patients in the super-elderly group had a mean age 82.7 years. The complication rates (5.2%, 5.0%, and 6.3%, respectively; P = 0.98) and re-admission rates (1.5%, 1.5%, and 0.0%, respectively; P = 0.89) were not different among these groups. Conclusion: Outpatient thyroid surgery is as safe in appropriately selected elderly and super-elderly patients as it is in a control group of youthful patients. Therefore, age should not be a contraindication to conducting thyroidectomy on an ambulatory basis. Level of Evidence: 4. Laryngoscope, 128:290–294, 2018.
ASJC Scopus subject areas