Risk Factors Associated With Reoperative Surgery for Thyroid Malignancies: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Mar;168(3):392-397. doi: 10.1177/01945998221099799. Epub 2023 Jan 29.


Objective: To examine various factors associated with an increased risk of reoperation for persistent or recurrent malignant thyroid cancers.

Study design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Tertiary academic hospital centers.

Methods: Patients undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer at 2 tertiary academic institutions from 2006 to 2020 were included. Those who underwent a reoperative procedure were compared with patients only requiring 1 procedure. The Pearson chi-square and independent t test were used to compare group data accordingly. Furthermore, a binomial logistic regression was performed, while machine learning models were used to construct a predictive algorithm.

Results: This study included 2266 patients with surgically managed thyroid malignancy, of which 54 (2.4%) necessitated reoperations. Those requiring a second surgical procedure were more likely to be male (40.7% vs 20.9%, P < .001), undergo bilateral (24.1% vs 3.3%, P < .001) and lateral (16.7% vs 1.8%, P < .001) neck dissections, and have a greater number of metastatic lymph nodes (mean, 9.1 vs 3.5; P < .001) and a larger tumor size (mean, 3.0 vs 2.0 cm; P < .001). According to the binomial logistic regression model, lateral neck dissection, greater number of metastatic lymph nodes, and larger tumor size significantly increased the odds of necessitating a second procedure by 7.8 (95% CI, 2.523-24.083), 1.1 (95% CI, 1.032-1.152), and 1.3 (95% CI, 1.064-1.559), respectively. Last, machine learning models could not significantly predict the occurrence of reoperation.

Conclusion: This study identified patient- and cancer-related characteristics associated with an increased risk of requiring reoperation for thyroid malignancies.

Keywords: malignancy; recurrence; reoperation; thyroid; thyroidectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Papillary* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neck Dissection / methods
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Thyroidectomy / methods