Table of Contents
Advances in Endocrinology
Volume 2014, Article ID 954194, 4 pages
Research Article

The Cost of Prolonged Hospitalization due to Postthyroidectomy Hypocalcemia: A Case-Control Study

1Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Service, Department of Surgery, Université de Montréal Hospital Center (CHUM), 1560 Sherbrooke E, Montreal, QC, Canada H2L 4M1
2Endocrinology Service, Department of Medicine, CHUM, Montreal, QC, Canada H2L 4M1

Received 17 September 2014; Revised 11 December 2014; Accepted 11 December 2014; Published 28 December 2014

Academic Editor: Pere Berbel

Copyright © 2014 Navid Zahedi Niaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study is to evaluate the additional costs associated with calcium monitoring and treatment as well as evaluate the incidence and predictors of postthyroidectomy hypocalcemia. Methods. This case-control study involved thyroidectomy and completion thyroidectomy patients operated on between January 2012 and August 2013. Cases were defined as requiring calcitriol supplementation, and controls did not require supplementation. Patient (age, sex), nodule (cytology, pathology), surgical data (neck dissection, parathyroid identification, and reimplantation), and hospital stay (days hospitalized in total and after drain removal) were compared. Comparisons were made using -tests and chi-square tests with an alpha of 0.05. The estimated cost associated with the extended stay was then compared with the cost of supplementation. Results. A total of 191 patients were evaluated (61 cases and 130 controls). Predictors of hypocalcemia include female age, neck dissection, and parathyroid reimplantation. Hypocalcemic patients were hospitalized for a longer period of time after drain removal (2.5 versus 0.8 days, ), and hospitalization costs after neck drain removal were higher in this group as well (8,367.32$ versus 2,534.32$, ). Conclusion. Postoperative hypocalcemia incurs significant additional health care costs at both the local and health care system levels.