n South African Journal of Surgery - Is routine drainage after total thyroidectomy necessary? : letters to the editor

Volume 49, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Most surgeons follow the practice of leaving a drain following thyroid surgery, in the hope that this will obliterate the dead space and evacuate collected blood and serum. The main reason is to drain off a possible post-operative haemorrhage that may compress air passages and produce respiratory failure. Although haemorrhage after thyroid surgery is rare, it may be life-threatening and require immediate re-operation.

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