MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Megan Rist Haymart MD
Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Thyroid cancer is a common malignancy with surgery considered one of the primary treatments. Complications from thyroid surgery can lead to long-term voice problems. However, few studies have used validated scales to quantify the impact of thyroid surgery on patient voice. Prior work has largely focused on single institution studies with high volume surgeons or claims data with reports of specific nerve injury.
We surveyed a diverse cohort of patients affiliated with SEER sites Georgia and Los Angeles to identify the prevalence, severity and correlates of poor voice outcomes following surgery for differentiated thyroid cancer.
We found that out of 2,325 patients 25.8% reported voice changes lasting greater than 3 months after surgery, 12.7% had abnormal voice per a validated voice scale (Voice Handicap Index- 10), and 4.7% reported a diagnosis of vocal fold motion impairment. We also identified patient factors associated with abnormal voice 2-4 years post op.