The occurrence of a cervical hematoma following a thyroidectomy is uncommon but can be life-threatening. It may present with a number of clinical findings.


The onset may be soon after surgery, or delayed up to 48 hours.


Local changes:

(1) neck pain

(2) feeling of pressure in the neck

(3) neck swelling with or without bruising

(4) wound drainage or oozing


Changes associated with compression:

(1) difficulty breathing, including respiratory distress

(2) painful or difficult swallowing



(1) agitation or distress

(2) sweating


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.