Thyroid and parathyroid surgery in pregnancy

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Dec;267(12):1825-35. doi: 10.1007/s00405-010-1390-0. Epub 2010 Sep 28.


The consideration of surgery during pregnancy requires weighing the benefit of urgent surgery against the risk to mother and fetus. Surgery during pregnancy involves an increase in both maternal and fetal risks. Thyroid and parathyroid surgery involves physiological risks to both mother and fetus specific to the disease and function of these endocrine glands. Evaluation of a thyroid mass is similar in pregnant patients with ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration biopsy providing the most important information, while the use of radiographic imaging is severely constrained except when specifically required. In general, thyroid surgery can be delayed until after delivery except in cases of airway compromise or aggressive cancer. In contrast, parathyroid surgery is recommended during pregnancy to avoid adverse effects to the neonate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Parathyroid Diseases / diagnosis
  • Parathyroid Diseases / etiology
  • Parathyroid Diseases / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / surgery*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Thyroid Diseases / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Diseases / etiology
  • Thyroid Diseases / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome