Original Article

CME Article: Vessel Sealant Devices in Thyroidectomies: An ACS-NSQIP Study

Authors: Zoltan H. Nemeth, MD, PhD, Karen Kong, BS, Richard Hwang, MD, Sara S. Soliman, BS, Rolando H. Rolandelli, MD


Objectives: Thyroidectomies involve meticulous dissection of a highly vascularized organ and complications may develop, such as hematoma, hypocalcemia, and even hypoparathyroidism. Because some of these complications may be fatal, we sought to identify the differences in postthyroidectomy outcomes when the use of a vessel sealant device (VSD) such, as LigaSure or Harmonic scalpel, is compared with more traditional techniques, such as ligatures and clips.

Methods: Using the 2016 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Targeted Thyroidectomy database, we compared patients who underwent a thyroidectomy using a VSD with patients without a VSD for differences in postoperative complications.

Results: A total of 5146 cases were identified and 3452 of those cases used a VSD, whose use was associated with significantly lower rates of hematoma, deep vein thrombosis, and hypocalcemia before discharge, as well as a shorter length of stay and longer operation time. Multivariate logistic regression showed that VSD was associated with 32.27% and 39.15% lower odds of hypocalcemia and hematoma, respectively. VSDs also were used more frequently in cases that had multinodular, severe, or substernal goiter or Graves disease as the primary indication for surgery and in patients with a higher body mass index. There was no significant difference in the incidence of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury between the two groups.

Conclusions: Analysis of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data indicates that VSDs are associated with a lower risk of complications, such as hypocalcemia, hematoma, and deep vein thrombosis, suggesting that VSDs may be a more effective method of hemostasis than traditional techniques.
Posted in: Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism27

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