|Title||The 2015 American Thyroid Association guidelines are associated with an increasing rate of hemithyroidectomy for thyroid cancer.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Ullmann TM, Gray KD, Stefanova D, Limberg J, Buicko JL, Finnerty B, Zarnegar R, Fahey TJ, Beninato T|
|Date Published||2019 May 02|
BACKGROUND: In an attempt to prevent overly aggressive treatment of low-risk thyroid cancers, the American Thyroid Association changed guideline recommendations in late 2015 to state that either hemithyroidectomy or total thyroidectomy are acceptable operations for these patients. We hypothesized that surgeons would increasingly perform hemithyroidectomy after the release of these guidelines.
METHODS: The database of the National Surgery Quality Improvement Program was queried to identify all patients with thyroid cancer who were undergoing thyroidectomy between 2009 and 2017. Patients treated before the release of the 2015 American Thyroid Association guidelines were compared with those treated afterward. Temporal trends in operative rates were assessed quarterly using interrupted time series analyses.
RESULTS: A total of 35,291 patients were included in the study. Of those, 26,882 (76.2%) were female and 25,193 (71.3%) were white. After the release of the American Thyroid Association guidelines, there was an increase in hemithyroidectomy rate for patients with cancer from 17.3% to 22.0% (P < .001). Interrupted time series analysis controlling for patient factors demonstrated that quarterly growth in the hemithyroidectomy rate accelerated almost 10-fold (P < .001) after publication of the revised guidelines. Of note, there was no corresponding increase in the completion thyroidectomy rate (8.3% versus 7.9%, respectively, P = .213). Patients treated with hemithyroidectomy were more likely to be managed as outpatients (70.8% versus 57.1%, P < .001), had fewer surgical site infections (0.3% versus 0.5%, P = .050), and had fewer unplanned reintubations (0.2% versus 0.4%, P = .005).
CONCLUSION: In hospitals participating in the National Surgery Quality Improvement Program, the hemithyroidectomy rate increased significantly after the release of the 2015 American Thyroid Association guidelines. Surgeons at hospitals that participate in the National Surgery Quality Improvement Program may be changing practice patterns in response to these guidelines.