Background Postoperative cervical hematoma (PCH) after thyroid and parathyroid surgery is a well-known complication. This study used data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to identify risk factors, estimate mortality, length of stay (LOS), and total costs attributable to PCH in patients undergoing procedures for thyroid and parathyroid diseases. Methods Patients aged >18 y who underwent thyroid or parathyroid surgery between 2001 and 2011 were identified and stratified by the occurrence of PCH. Univariate analyses of patient demographics, clinical and hospital characteristics were performed. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine risk factors for hematoma formation. LOS and costs were fit to linear regression models to determine the effect of PCH after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics. Results Of patients who underwent thyroid or parathyroid surgery, 619 patients (0.8%) had a PCH. Predisposing factors included nonelective admission (emergent: OR = 2.01, P < 0.0001; urgent: OR = 1.47, P = 0.003), diagnosis of Graves' disease (OR = 1.90, P < 0.0001), or other benign pathology (OR = 1.43, P = 0.011) and having ≥2 comorbidities (2-3 comorbidities, OR = 1.24; P = 0.036 and ≥ 4 comorbidities, OR = 2.28; P < 0.0001). After adjusting for those characteristics, the total excess LOS and costs attributable to PCH were 2.1 d (P < 0.0001) and $7316 (P < 0.0001), respectively. In addition, after risk adjustment, odds of mortality more than tripled (P < 0.0001) in the setting of PCH. Conclusions Because risk for PCH is largely driven by preoperative patient risk factors, five clinicians have an opportunity to stratify patients accordingly and thereby minimize the resource utilization and health care spending among those with lowest risk.
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