The Role of Infiltrative Local Anaesthesia in Thyroidectomy


Ojuka KD1, Saidi H1, Rere EC2

1 − School of Medicine, University of Nairobi

2 − Department of Anaesthesia, Kenyatta National Hospital

Correspondence to: Daniel K Ojuka, P.O Box 19676-00202, KNH Nairobi, Kenya. Email:


Background: General anaesthesia is the anaesthetic agent of choice during thyroidectomy, however, recent reports there is a role for local anaesthesia. This study reports on the experience of thyroidectomy performed under infiltrative local anaesthesia in a rural surgical setting.

 Methods: This was a review of patients who underwent thyroidectomy during a surgical camp. We included the bio data of the patients, anaesthesia used, duration of surgery, immediate complications and duration of stay. Patients underwent either general or infiltrative local anaesthesia.


Results: Out of seven patients undergoing surgery, three were performed under infiltrative local anaesthesia. The average age for all the patients was 37.43 +/- 5.3 years and there was no statistical difference in the mean age between patients who underwent infiltrative anaesthesia and those who underwent general anaesthesia. We noted one immediate transient difficulty in breathing in a patient who underwent general anaesthesia. The average length of stay was 2 days for local anaesthesia group and 2.25 days for general anaesthesia.

 Conclusions: There was no difference between the two groups either on biodata or outcome measures. Local anaesthesia is a safe alternative to general anaesthesia for patients undergoing thyroid surgery.


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


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ISSN (print): 1999-9674; ISSN (online): 2523-0816

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