Routine drainage after thyroid surgery - A meta-analysis
Thyroidectomy is a common surgical procedure. The results of some clinical trials suggest that routine drainage does not offer advantages, but the evidence is not strong either in favor of or against this intervention. The effect of routine drainage compared to no drainage in patients subject to thyroidectomy was measured using a meta-analysis. After an extensive literature review, suitable randomized clinical trials were selected for analysis. Outcome measures included the comparative incidence of neck hematoma or seroma and length of hospital stay. Eleven randomized clinical trials were included. There were no statistically significant differences in the incidence of neck hematoma/seroma (OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.59-1.81) between the groups. The mean length of hospital stay was 1.53 days longer for the drainage group (95% CI 1.39-1.68). There was no difference found between routine drainage and no drainage with regard to the frequency of postoperative hematoma/seroma in patients following thyroidectomy. In addition, the mean length of hospital stay was longer in the routine drainage group.