Introduction: Inadvertent parathyroidectomy (IP) is not a rare condition following total thyroidectomy. However, the clinical relevance of IP is unclear.
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical effect of IP on postoperative hypocalcemia in patients undergoing total thyroidectomy.
Materials and methods: A total of 214 patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for benign or malignant thyroid disease were included in the study. All patients were classified as patients without IP and those with IP. The two groups were then compared between each other in terms of postoperative hypocalcemia and other clinicopathological findings.
Results: There were 32 (15%) males and 182 (85%) females, with a mean age of 50.2 years. IP was found in 38 (17.8%) patients. Both postoperative biochemical (p = 0.001) and symptomatic (p = 0.000) hypocalcemia were found to be more common in patients with IP compared with those without IP. Patients with IP had a significantly higher incidence of permanent hypocalcemia in comparison to those without IP (p = 0.000).
Conclusion: IP is positively correlated with both transient and permanent hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy. Careful surgical approach is of great importance to reduce the incidence of this disturbing complication.