Total Thyroidectomy and Subsequent Weight Gain in Pediatric Populations

Evan R. Edwards*, Inbal Hazkani, Eli Stein, Jami L. Josefson, Jill H. Samis, Jennifer L. Miller, Jeffrey Rastatter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate weight gain in children post-thyroidectomy and identify predictors. Methods: Charts from patients at a tertiary health care facility who underwent total thyroidectomy from 2014 to 2020 were reviewed for Body Mass Index z-scores (BMIz) at the time of thyroidectomy and at 1 and 2-year post-operation intervals. Patient demographic information, comorbidities, pre- and postoperative thyroid stimulating hormone, and postoperative free T4 levels were also extracted. Patients with other known endocrine abnormalities, chronic kidney disease, or without sufficient follow-up were excluded. Results: A total of 56 patients (ages 3–17 years old) met the inclusion criteria (n = 17 Graves' disease; n = 39 presumed cancer). Over the first year, average BMIz significantly increased in patients with Graves' disease (∆BMIz = 0.45 ± 0.77, p = 0.03), Hispanic ethnicity (∆BMIz = 0.43 ± 0.68, p = 0.004), Medicaid/no insurance coverage (∆BMIz = 0.33 ± 0.74, p = 0.038), age <13 years at thyroidectomy (∆BMIz = 0.35 ± 0.68, p = 0.016), and persistent postoperative hypothyroidism (∆BMIz = 0.41 ± 0.41, p = 0.012). These changes remained significant after the second year. Age at thyroidectomy correlated negatively with ∆BMIz only after the first year (r = −0.40, p = 0.002). Regression analysis, controlling for Graves' status, persistent postoperative hypothyroidism, and insurance coverage, identified age at thyroidectomy as a significant predictor of ∆BMIz after the first year (b = −0.06, p = 0.004) and Hispanic ethnicity as a significant predictor after the second year (b = 0.60, p = 0.003). Conclusion: A small increase in BMIz post-thyroidectomy was observed across several patient subgroups. Younger age at thyroidectomy and Hispanic ethnicity were associated with increased BMIz in the first 2 years post-thyroidectomy. Level of Evidence: Level 4 - Historically controlled cohort Laryngoscope, 133:1518–1523, 2023.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1518-1523
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • BMIz
  • Graves' disease
  • pediatric thyroidectomy
  • postoperative
  • thyroid malignancy
  • weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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