A comparison of two methods of hemostasis in thyroidectomy

Michael M. McNally, Steven C. Agle, R. Fredrick Williams, Walter E. Pofahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Safe thyroid surgery requires meticulous hemostasis. The objective of the current study is to compare the effectiveness and safety of ultrasonic dissection (UD) and electronic vessel sealing (EVS) in patients undergoing thyroidectomy. A retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database was performed. Between January 1, 2007 and January 25, 2008, hemostasis was achieved using EVS (LigaSure Precise, Valleylab, Boulder, CO). Since January 25, 2008, hemostasis has been achieved using UD (Harmonic Focus, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Cincinnati, OH). Operative time, estimated blood loss, gland weight, and postoperative complications were compared. Differences were analyzed using unpaired t test and Chi square with significance assigned P < 0.05. Seventy-four patients underwent total thyroidectomy (EVS n = 59, UD n = 15). Operative time (EVS 115.0 ± 38.3 min, UD 88.0 ± 14.0 min, P = 0.012) was significantly decreased in the UD group compared with the EVS group. There were no significant differences in mean age (EVS 50.4 ± 13.9 years, UD 49.1 ± 15.6 years), gender distribution (EVS 78% female, UD 87% female), estimated blood loss (EVS 49.4 ± 44.7 mL, UD 47.0 ± 70.4 mL), and gland weight (EVS 67.4 ± 66.4 gm, UD 41.3 ± 26.6 gm). Analysis of complications, including hematoma, hypocalcemia, and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy showed no significant difference. Based on the current analysis, ultrasonic dissection is a safe method of hemostasis for thyroid surgery. Its use decreases operative time when compared with electronic vessel sealing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1076
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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