What are minor complications that may result from thyroid surgery?

Updated: Feb 27, 2020
  • Author: Pramod K Sharma, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
  • Print


Several minor complications may result from thyroid surgery. Minuto et al stated that following thyroidectomy, 40% of patients have been reported to experience minor, non-invalidating symptoms such as hoarseness, mild dysphagia, and a degree of voice alteration. [6]

Postoperative surgical site seromas may occur. These may be followed clinically and allowed to resorb if small and asymptomatic. Large seromas may be aspirated under sterile conditions. Repeated aspirations may be necessary.

Poor scar formation is another frequently preventable complication. Ideally, the surgeon will design as small an incision as reasonable in a natural skin crease over the thyroid gland. The neck should be flexed to determine the location of the natural skin creases. This incision should provide adequate exposure and yet minimize the resultant scar. The surgeon should avoid excessive retraction which may damage the skin edges. If significant damage is present at the end of the surgery, the skin edges can be resected prior to closure.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!