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BACKGROUND - Recent experience with thyroidectomy for Graves' disease is limited. We report our current experience with thyroidectomy for Graves' disease at a tertiary hospital.
METHODS - A prospective database showed 48 patients who underwent surgery for Graves' disease from April 1993 to June 2005.
RESULTS - All patients had typical symptoms of Graves' disease. Twenty-three patients had ophthalmopathy. Indications for surgery were failed medical therapy (n = 24), presence of a dominant nodule (n = 12), or refusal of radioiodine (n = 12). Surgery included total thyroidectomy (n = 46) or subtotal thyroidectomy (n = 2). The incidence of cancer was 17%. Long-term follow-up data were available for 44 patients. No patients had recurrence of hyperthyroidism or cancer. Follow-up evaluation of 20 patients with ophthalmopathy showed the condition had either stabilized or resolved.
CONCLUSIONS - Total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease offers rapid and durable control of hyperthyroidism, provides appropriate treatment for patients with coexisting cancer, and can stabilize or reverse ophthalmopathy.