Comparison of Postoperative Drain Insertion versus No Drain Insertion in Thyroidectomies : Retrospective case-control study from the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman

Asma S. Al-Habsi, Al-Anood K. Al-Sulaimani, Kadhim M. Taqi, Hani A. Al-Qadhi


Objectives: A thyroidectomy is a frequently performed surgical procedure which can result in lifethreatening complications. The insertion of a drain after a thyroidectomy has been suggested to prevent such complications. This study aimed to evaluate the use of surgical drains following thyroidectomies in relation to postoperative complications and mass sizes. Methods: This retrospective case-control study included all thyroidectomies conducted at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman, from January 2011 to December 2013. Length of hospital stay, readmission, postoperative complications and mass size were evaluated. Results: During the study period, 250 surgeries were carried out on 241 patients. The majority of patients were female (87.2%). Drains were inserted postoperatively after 202 surgeries (80.8%) compared to 48 surgeries (19.2%) without drains. A total of 32 surgeries (12.8%) were conducted on patients with thyroid masses <1 cm, 138 (55.2%) on those with masses between 1–4 cm and 80 (32.0%) on those with masses >4 cm. The association between drain use and mass size was not significant (P = 0.439). Although postoperative complications were more prevalent in patients with drains, the relationship between these factors was not significant (P >0.050). Length of hospital stay was significantly longer among patients with postoperative drains (P <0.010). Conclusion: The routine insertion of drains after thyroid surgeries was found to result in longer hospital stays and did not reduce rates of postthyroidectomy complications. Thyroid mass size should not be used as an indicator for the insertion of a drain after thyroidectomy.


Thyroidectomy; Drainage; Length of Stay; Postoperative Complications; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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