Introduction: The concept of short stay thyroidectomy has been tested and in practice in the developed world; the same has not been replicated in countries with limited resources due to lack of organized healthcare system. So, in this study, we tried to analyze if short stay thyroid surgery can be performed in a cost-effective way in developing countries and also if the endocrine surgical trainee can deliver these services safely.
Methods: The study was conducted prospectively from January 2013 to July 2014, at Department of Endocrine Surgery, SGPGIMS, Lucknow, India. Study group included patients undergoing short stay hemithyroidectomy whereas matched patients who qualified for inclusion criteria but did not undergo short stay surgery due to various reasons constituted control group. Outcome in both the groups was compared in terms of complication rates, cost benefit, and patient satisfaction. Subgroup analysis was also done for trainee versus consultant performed short stay thyroid surgery.
Results: A total of 439 patients with surgical thyroid disorders were evaluated at our institute during the study period and out of these 110 patients (58 cases and 52 controls) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Younger patients with low socioeconomic status who were paying out of pocket were found to be more inclined to short stay thyroid surgery. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of postanesthetic discharge score (PADS), complication rates, and patients satisfaction; however there was significant reduction (p <0.001) in hospital cost in short stay group. In subgroup analysis, procedure time was more in trainee performed surgeries; however there was no significant difference in terms of mean PADS and complication rates.
Conclusion: Short stay thyroidectomy can provide a better cost-effective alternative to conventional thyroidectomy in patients undergoing thyroid surgery and can be safely performed by endocrine surgical trainees even in a low resource setting.