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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 615846, 7 pages
Review Article

Clinical and Economic Outcomes of Thyroid Surgery in Elderly Patients: A Systematic Review

Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Received 18 March 2012; Accepted 21 April 2012

Academic Editor: Juan José Diez

Copyright © 2012 Michael C. Sullivan 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 U.S. population is undergoing a dramatic shift in demographics, with a rise in the proportion of elderly Americans. Given an increased prevalence of thyroid disease and malignancy with age, understanding the safety of thyroid surgery in this age group is increasingly pertinent. There remains disagreement regarding the clinical outcomes of elderly patients after thyroidectomy and the applicability of single-institution cohorts to the population at large. This paper reviews the epidemiology of thyroid disease in the elderly, current surgical indications and practice patterns, and the clinical and economic outcomes of elderly patients with thyroid disease after surgical intervention.