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Role of Intra-Operative Nerve Monitoring in Thyroidectomies: An Institutional Review

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DOI: 10.4236/ijohns.2014.34029    2,248 Downloads   3,037 Views  

ABSTRACT

Injury to the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve (RLN) is a worrisome complication of a thyroidectomy. Intra-operative nerve monitoring (IONM) of the RLN has gained prevalence as an aid to prevent injury. We reviewed our series and other studies in literature for insight. A chart review was carried out to identify all patients who underwent a thyroidectomy between 2005 and 2010. IONM was implemented by the Otolaryngology service in 2007. All identified patients were separated into three groups: 1) Otolaryngology service with IONM, 2) Otolaryngology service without IONM, and 3) General Surgery service without IONM. Several factors were noted, including age, sex, thyroid disease, extent of thyroidectomy, and RLN injury along with recovery. 230 patients underwent thyroidectomy from 2005-2010. 60 patients were isolated in the IONM-Otolaryngology group with 3 patients suffering injury. 109 patients underwent a thyroidectomy by the Otolaryngology service without IONM with 8 patients suffering nerve damage. In the third group, 61 patients underwent a thyroidectomy by General Surgery without IONM with 4 patients suffering damage. Of the thyroid pathology, 10 patients had Multinodular Goiter while 4 had Papillary Cancer and 1 had a Follicular Adenoma. The most severe complication of a thyroidectomy is RLN injury. In order to further decrease the risk of RLN injury, IONM has been employed. From our review and other studies, there does not appear to be a significant difference in rates of RLN injury with or without use of nerve monitoring. An interesting note is the increased prevalence of nerve injuries in Multinodular Goiter—a finding that merits further study to evaluate the role of IONM.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Venkatesan, N. , Gnagi, S. and Underbrink, M. (2014) Role of Intra-Operative Nerve Monitoring in Thyroidectomies: An Institutional Review. International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 3, 154-160. doi: 10.4236/ijohns.2014.34029.

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