The patterns and treatment of postoperative hemorrhage and hematoma in total endoscopic thyroidectomy via breast approach: experience of 1932 cases

Endocrine. 2019 Mar;63(3):422-429. doi: 10.1007/s12020-018-01837-1. Epub 2019 Jan 16.


Purpose: Postoperative hemorrhage and hematoma formation is a potentially lethal complication in thyroid surgery, although the patterns and treatment of hemorrhage after total endoscopic thyroidectomy (TET) via breast approach has not been reported previously. We aim to share our experience about postoperative bleeding.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 1932 patients who underwent TET from April 2008 to May 2018 in our institution was carried out. The patterns of postoperative hemorrhage and hematoma formation that need surgical treatment were summarized and focused on the relation to the source of bleeding and the time interval between first surgery and hemorrhage. Related risk factors were analyzed by univariate or multivariate analysis processes.

Results: The overall rate of hemorrhage and hematoma occurrence was only 0.724% (14 in 1932 patients). Of them, 12 occurred in the first 24 h after surgery, and the other two occurred after withdrawal of the drainage tube. The principle independent risk factors for postoperative hemorrhage and hematoma were age (older than 35 years old) and lateral compartment dissection (LCD) revealed by multivariate regression. During re-exploration, obvious bleeding points were detected in 13 patients. Among them, 12 bled from the vessels in the main trocar cavity and another 1 bled from a broken vein located between the two heads of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle with LCD.

Conclusions: Hemorrhage after TET usually occurs within 24 h, and the main video trocar cavity was the area most likely to bleed. Age and LCD may increase the bleeding risk. Appropriate dissection level is the main solution to prevent postoperative hemorrhage.

Keywords: Management; Postoperative hemorrhage; Risk factor; TET.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Female
  • Hematoma / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroidectomy / adverse effects*
  • Thyroidectomy / methods