RECURRENT LARYNGEAL NERVE INJURY: AN EXPERIENCE WITH 310 THYROIDECTOMIES
AbstractBackground: Thyroid surgery has been associated with complications ranging from nerve injuryto death. Improvements in techniques have reduced the mortality rate to minimum. Morbidity,however, remains a significant concern. This study was designed to determine the prevalence ofrecurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury and duration of recovery following transient recurrentlaryngeal nerve injury, during thyroid surgery. Methods: This prospective, observational studywas carried out in the Surgical Department of Fauji Foundation Hospital, Rawalpindi, fromJanuary 2000 to December 2005. All patients undergoing Thyroid surgery were included.Results: 310 patients, predominantly female (97.09%), were operated. Majority were euthyroid(90.33%). 3.22% patients had recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. Amongst them, 87.5% hadtransient and 12.5% had permanent nerve lesion. Majority of the patients (87.5%) showed signs ofrecovery within 12 weeks after surgery. Injury was observed more in huge goiters (3.57% transientand 1.42% permanent), total thyroidectomy (7.69% transient and 3.84% permanent) and duringlobectomy and total thyroidectomy (6.25% respectively for transient and permanent nerve injury.Conclusion: Thyroid surgery should be done by experienced surgeon and care should be takenespecially in huge goiters and patients undergoing total thyroidectomy.Keywords: Thyroidectomy; Recurrent laryngeal nerve; Injury; Prevalence; Recovery
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