Monday, June 20, 2011

Home Call

You are taking "home call" as a surgery resident. You're not really sure what this means until you get called by a patient who says she has "tingling in the lips and fingertips." You glance at your signout which says "s/p total thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer."

Challenge: What's your midnight diagnosis?

Image shows a rendering by Max Bro of a thyroidectomy performed by surgeon William Halsted, from, shown under Fair Use.


tree said...

Hypocalcemia! The parathyroid glands may have been injured or removed during the case.

Thanks, Dr. C :)

Craig Chen said...

right on!
Home Call

Hypocalcemia as a result of hypoparathyroidism is the most common cause of thyroidectomy. Transient hypoparathyroidism is extremely common, and permanent hypoparathyroidism occurs in ~2% of cases. Treatment is with oral calcium and calcitriol.

Source: UpToDate.