Here is an easy question for most patients: Would you prefer to stay in the hospital after surgery, or go home? The vast majority of patients would of course prefer to go home, and sleep in their own bed with the support of family. The good news is that there has been a major shift in the world of thyroid and parathyroid surgery over the past 10 years, where the majority of selected patients under the care of the proper surgeons can be sent home the same day of surgery. This even holds true for total thyroidectomy patients.
The advantages of going home with outpatient surgery go beyond the obvious comforts of sleeping in your own bed. Being in the hospital for longer periods has an inherently higher risk of infection, so it is advantageous to of course avoid this. Another major issue is the much higher cost associated with inpatient hospital stays. Same-day surgery is more cost effective not just for individual patients, but for the entire health care system in general.
So why don’t all surgeons performing thyroid and parathyroid surgery send patients home the same day? The reason is that there are potential major risks after surgery (such as neck bleeding) which can potentially be picked up earlier if a patient stays in the hospital. So it is not necessarily a bad thing for some surgeons to play it safe if they are more comfortable with that approach. However, there have been numerous research studies done over the past 20 years demonstrating the safety of outpatient surgery when performed on the properly selected patients and done by surgeons using the proper techniques. The risk of neck bleeding and hematoma in these cases should be extraordinarily low (or ‘zero’ as is the case with our data from Austin Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgeons). In addition, Austin Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgeons always perform minimally invasive surgeries with expert technique, therefore our patients have less pain after surgery further enabling outpatient surgery.
Outpatient thyroid and parathyroid surgery is the best option for most patients in the hands of experienced surgeons! And don’t forget, it is ideal if surgery can be avoided in the first place…make sure your workup is thorough and complete before agreeing to any operation! #SaveYourThyroid
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