Background: The use of hemostatic agents in thyroid surgery has been widely reported in the literature. The aim of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of hemostatic agents in comparison to conventional techniques for hemostasis by meta-analysis of the current literature.
Methods: Articles were identified from PubMed and EMBASE using the following keyword searches: "hemostatic agent and thyroid surgery" and "hemostatic agent and thyroidectomy". Outcomes included total operative time, estimated blood loss, length of hospital stay, and intraoperative and postoperative complications. Data were extracted following review of appropriate studies by two independent authors and outcome differences were calculated using analysis of variance and the Bonferroni method.
Results: Thirty-four publications were identified and 10 studies met our inclusion criteria, totaling 941 patients, 519 (55.1%) of which received a hemostatic agent during thyroid surgery. Of these patients who had hemostatic agents, 369 (71%) received a hemostatic gel and 150 (29%) received an oxidized cellulose patch. Outcome measures in each of these groups were compared with the patients receiving only conventional methods of hemostasis. The risk of hematoma formation in the hemostatic gel group was comparable to conventional hemostatic methods (95% CI: 0.33, 2.59). This was also true when comparing conventional hemostasis to the patch (95% CI: 0.64, 15.24). No difference in the risk for seroma formation was found between the conventional and hemostatic gel groups (95% CI: 0.26, 3.95). Drain output was significantly less in the gel group 40.75±35.6 mL compared to 66.26±31.2 mL in the conventional group (95% CI: -23.422, -7.460). Patients who received hemostatic agents had shorter hospital stays when compared to the conventional group (95% CI: -1.057, -0.203).
Conclusions: Our meta-analysis suggests that the use of a hemostatic agent in thyroid surgery yields minimal advantages for the management of perioperative bleeding risk.
Keywords: Hemostatic agent; hemostasis; thyroid surgery; thyroidectomy.