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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thyroid surgery using monitored anesthesia care: an alternative to general anesthesia.

Forty consecutive patients undergoing thyroid surgery under local anesthesia (LA) by a single surgeon over a 5-year period were included in this retrospective review. In all cases, the indication for LA was patient request. The study included 29 females and 11 males with an average age of 44 years (range 22-66 years). Body habitus was thin in 12.5%, average in 67.5%, and obese in 20%. Operations consisted of 21 unilateral thyroid lobectomies, 3 partial thyroidectomies, 3 subtotal thyroidectomies, and 13 total thyroidectomies. The pathology revealed benign disease in 45% and malignant disease in 55%. All procedures were performed using lidocaine and/or bupivacaine to administer a deep cervical plexus block as well as a field block. Mild additional intraoperative intravenous sedation was provided in most cases. Two patients were converted emergently to general endotracheal anesthesia because of inability to tolerate LA in one and a seizure secondary to intraarterial injection of lidocaine in the other patient. There were no instances of wound infection hemorrhage, recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, or hypoparathyroidism. In conclusion, thyroid surgery in selected patients can be performed safely using LA by experienced surgeons. If patients are carefully prepared preoperatively, LA offers a simple and reasonable alternative to general anesthesia.[1]


  1. Thyroid surgery using monitored anesthesia care: an alternative to general anesthesia. Lo Gerfo, P., Ditkoff, B.A., Chabot, J., Feind, C. Thyroid (1994) [Pubmed]
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