Background: Pediatric thyroid cancer rates are rising. The aim of this study was to determine the state of current practice and outcomes for pediatric thyroidectomies using the pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP-P) with specific attention to differences based on surgeon type/specialty. Methods: All cases of pediatric thyroidectomies and neck dissections within the NSQIP-P database were identified from 2015 to 2017. Patient, disease, and treatment-related factors affecting 30-day outcomes were analyzed using univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: A total of 1300 cases were identified. Mean age at time of surgery was 14.0 (SD 3.5) years. The majority of patients were female (78%) and Caucasian (72%). Pediatric general surgeons performed the largest proportion of cases (42%) followed by pediatric otolaryngologists (33%). Malignancies were present in 29% of cases. The overall rate of complications was 3.0%. On multivariate analysis, non-pediatric surgeons were more likely to operate on Caucasian children, malignant pathology, and perform modified radical neck dissections. Pediatric surgeons were more likely to have longer operative times, have specialized in otolaryngology, and operate on sicker children (ASA>2). There were no differences in length of stay or overall complications rates. Conclusions: This study shows that pediatric surgeons currently perform the majority of thyroid surgeries in children. While unable to assess surgeon volume, our data show that thyroid surgery is being safely performed at NSQIP-affiliated hospitals by both non-pediatric and pediatric surgeons. Further studies are needed to determine if there are differences in specific procedure-related complications and long-term outcomes between surgeon types.
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