A Comprehensive Assessment of Blood Transfusions in Elective Thyroidectomy Based on 180,483 Patients

Usama Waqar, Javeria Tariq, Ahmad Areeb Chaudhry, Haissan Iftikhar, Hasnain Zafar, Syed Akbar Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess the incidence, risk factors, and complications of blood transfusions (BTs) in elective thyroidectomy patients. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Adult patients who underwent elective thyroidectomy from 2005 to 2019 were divided into two cohorts based on whether they received BT or not. Multivariable binary logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors of BT and its impact on postoperative complications. Results: Of 180,483 patients, 0.13% received BT. Risk factors for BT included underweight body mass index (BMI) (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 3.179, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.444–6.996), bleeding disorders (OR 2.121, 95% CI 1.149–3.913), anemia (OR 4.730, 95% CI 3.472–6.445), preoperative transfusion (OR 7.230, 95% CI 1.454–35.946), American Society of Anesthesiology physical statuses 3–5 (OR 3.103, 95% CI 2.143–4.492), operative time >150 min (OR 4.390, 95% CI 1.996–9.654), and inpatient thyroidectomy (OR 5.791, 95% CI 3.816–8.787). In addition, transfusion was independently associated with any postoperative complication, non-infectious, cardiac, pulmonary, renal, vascular, or infectious complications, surgical site infection, sepsis, septic shock, wound disruption, pneumonia, unplanned reoperation, prolonged length of stay, and mortality. Conclusion: Recognition of risk factors of BT is imperative to identify at-risk patients and reduce transfusions by controlling modifiable risk factors such as anemia, operative time, and BMI. In cases where transfusions are still indicated, surgeons should optimize care to prevent or adequately manage transfusion-associated complications. Level of evidence: 3 Laryngoscope, 2022.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • thyroid
  • thyroid cancer
  • thyroid surgery


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