The aim of this study was to investigate the complications following surgical treatment of thyroid cancer and the association between the extent of surgery and complication rates. A total of 2,636 patients who underwent surgery due to thyroid cancer were retrospectively reviewed to identify surgical complications. Complication rates were assessed according to the extent of surgery, which was classified as follows; less-than-total thyroidectomy with central compartment node dissection (CCND) (Group I, n=636), total thyroidectomy with CCND (Group II, n=1,390), total thyroidec-tomy plus ipsilateral neck dissection (Group III, n=513), and total thyroidectomy plus bilateral neck dissection (Group IV, n=97). The most common surgical complication was symptomatic hypoparathyroidism, of which 28.4% of cases were transient and 0.3% permanent. The other surgical complications included vocal cord palsy (0.7% transient, and 0.2% permanent), hematoma (0.5%), seroma (4.7%), chyle fistula (1.8%), and Horner's syndrome (0.2%). The complication rates increased significantly with increasing the extent of surgery from Group I to Group IV. The more extensive surgery makes more complications, such as hypoparathyroidism, seroma, and others.
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