Potential benefit of oral calcium/vitamin D administration for prevention of symptomatic hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy

Endocr Regul. 2007 Mar;41(1):35-9.


Objective: To evaluate routine oral calcium and vitamin D administration for preventing symptoms of hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy.

Subjects and methods: A total of 487 consecutive patients were prospectively randomized into two groups in terms of routine oral calcium and vitamin D supplementation: In the control group (244 patients) the treatment was not routinely started after surgery, whereas the treated group (243 patients) received routine supplementation that started on postoperative day 1.

Results: Patients of treated group had only minor hypocalcemia symptoms, whereas 7 patients of control group experienced carpopedal spasm as a major symptom (p<0.001). None of the patients in the treated group required intravenous calcium administration. Average hospital stay of the treated group patients was significantly shorter than that of control group (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Routine postoperative calcium and vitamin D supplementation therapy may be useful for the prevention of symptomatic hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy and may allow for a safe and early discharge from the hospital.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Calcium / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypocalcemia / etiology
  • Hypocalcemia / prevention & control*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Thyroid Gland / surgery
  • Thyroidectomy / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium