What is included in the evaluation of patients with postoperative bleeding following thyroid surgery?

Updated: Jan 25, 2018
  • Author: Pramod K Sharma, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Physical examination is the critical step in evaluation. Do not waste time with imaging studies when active bleeding is possible. All bandaging should be removed and the neck examined for possible swelling indicating a wound hematoma. Imaging studies such as CT scanning and ultrasonography may be useful in cases of mild neck swelling without airway compromise. The surgeon must carefully assess the airway before transferring a patient for radiologic studies. Fiberoptic laryngoscopy may be warranted in patients with airway issues without apparent wound hematoma to assess vocal fold function.


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