News article

Screening for vitamin D before thyroid surgery can improve post-operative outcomes: says new study

Posted:  Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Hypocalcemia or low level of calcium is one of the main post-operative complications of thyroidectomy. US researchers, in a new study, found that a large number of patients who undergo thyroidectomy have low vitamin D levels before surgery. This can potentially put them at a greater risk of developing low calcium levels after thyroidectomy.

Researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital gathered data of 110 patients who had undergone thyroidectomy between January 2013 and December 2013. Serum levels of vitamin D, calcium, ionized calcium and parathyroid hormone were assessed before surgery. The results of the study were presented at the 2014 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery annual meeting.

The researchers found that 40% of patients had low vitamin D levels before surgery. According to the researchers, pre-existing vitamin D deficiency can affect both the parathyroid gland care during surgery and calcium balance post surgery. It could also put them potentially at a greater risk for developing dangerously low blood calcium levels or Hypocalcemia after surgery.

Hypocalcemia, as a condition, can vary from an asymptomatic biochemical abnormality to a life threatening condition based on the severity, duration and onset.

Stressing on the importance of vitamin D screening, the study author Hamad Chaudhary said, “By routinely checking vitamin D levels in all patients scheduled for thyroid surgery or selectively testing those at great risk, we may be able to improve surgical outcomes and shorten hospital stays.”

Vitamin D deficiency has been a matter of research for the past decade owing to its ramifications in other chronic conditions. Screening for vitamin D and supplementing in case of deficiency can be some easy steps to ensure success of thyroid surgeries in patients. Those more likely to be vitamin D deficient include individuals above 50 year of age and patients undergoing surgery for hyperthyroidism. Thyroidectomy is usually recommended for patients with thyroid cancer, goiter or hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid). Additionally, women are more likely to undergo thyroidectomy than men.

The study link:-Click Here!