Thyroidectomy in elderly patients aged ≥70 years

Davide Inversini, Andrea Morlacchi, Giuseppinella Melita, Simona Del Ferraro, Carlo Boeri, Mattia Portinari, Antonino Cancellieri, Francesco Frattini, Antonio Giacomo Rizzo, Gianlorenzo Dionigi


Worldwide, the indications for thyroid surgery have been continuously extended among elderly patients in the last 20 years. The balance between treatment indication and surgical risk is certainly an interesting topic for every thyroid surgeon. This paper is a review of recent literature from January 2005 up to April 2017. We analyzed three principal subjects: indications for surgical treatment, medical complications and surgical complications. We can summarize the conclusions of our analysis, stating that age could not be considered as an absolute factor, but in relation to the comorbidities and the general clinical condition of the patient. Special risk indices dedicated to geriatric patients could be very useful in order to facilitate the decision-making process; however, relying on the current knowledge, we could state that there is value in providing surgery to geriatric patients in highly specialized and high-volume centers, where access to technology and its systematic use, coupled with surgeons’ experience, could certainly avail the geriatric patient management.