Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and safety of total and near-total bilateral thyroidectomy for the treatment of bilateral multinodular goiter. Methods: 346 patients with a diagnosis of bilateral multinodular goiter were randomly divided into two groups. 165 patients underwent total thyroidectomy or near-total thyroidectomy (group A), while 181 patients were exposed to a partial or subtotal thyroid gland removal treatment (group B). The incidences of postoperative complications and recurrence rate were monitored during the average follow-up period of 36 and 39 months, respectively. Results: Six and two patients from groups A and B, respectively, were diagnosed with papillary carcinoma and excluded from the study. Transient recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis occurred in three patients each from group A (1.89%, 3/159) and group B (1.68%, 3/179) postoperatively. Injury to superior laryngeal nerve was confirmed in three patients (two in group A and one in group B). Eleven (6.92%, 11/159) and nine (5.03%, 9/179) cases in groups A and B, respectively, suffered from transient hypocalcemia symptoms. There was no statistical difference in complications between two groups. Permanent hypoparathyroidism was not observed in either group. No recurrence was observed in group A, while 12 cases (6.70%, 12/179) were observed in group B. The recurrence rate was significantly different between the two groups (p <.05). Conclusion: It is safe and feasible to perform either total or near-total thyroidectomy in patients with bilateral multinodular goiter. These treatments provide decisive advantages over partial and subtotal thyroidectomies in terms of the recurrence and reoperation rate with comparable postoperative complications.
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