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.