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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 98-102

Oral calcium and vitamin D supplementation after total thyroidectomy

Department of General Surgery, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed El-Shinawi
Associate Professor of General Surgery, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-0354.138553

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Introduction: Hypocalcemia is an important and common complication following thyroid surgery with reports varying from 0.5% to 75%. Despite being self-limiting in most patients, symptomatic hypocalcemia is of particular concern because of a delay in its manifestation and the consequent need for prolonged patient hospitalization or re-admission. Aim of the Work: The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical usefulness of oral calcium and vitamin D administration after total thyroidectomy in the prevention of post-operative hypocalcemia. Materials and Methods: Fifty patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for non-toxic goiters were randomly assigned to routinely receive or not receive oral calcium (1.5 g/d) and vitamin D (0.5 μg/d) for 4 weeks. Hypocalcemic symptoms and signs and total serum calcium levels were monitored and compared between the 2 groups. Results: The incidence of symptomatic and laboratory hypocalcemia was lower in the treatment group receiving the supplement than in the control group not receiving the supplement: 6 of 25 patients (24%) versus 11of 25 (44%). The hypocalcemic symptoms were minimal in the treatment group but more severe in the control group not receiving the supplement. Serum calcium levels decreased in both groups after surgery but were less in the treatment group. Conclusion: Routine administration of a supplement containing oral calcium and vitamin D may be effective in reducing the incidence and severity of hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy.

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