Identification of the recurrent laryngeal nerve during thyroidectomy can affect the complication rate


COD: 3_2021_02_2991 Categoria:

Veli Vural, Bülent Çomçalı, Barış Saylam, Faruk Coşkun

Ann Ital Chir, 2021 92, 3: 217-226

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AIM: Identification of recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN), performed via different techniques, decreases nerve injury during thyroidectomy. We aimed to evaluate the effect of different anatomic levels at which RLN was identified on postoperative complications.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The patients underwent total thyroidectomy or lobectomy without lymph node dissection were included. Two different surgical methods were performed: thyroidectomy identifying RLN at level of inferior thyroid artery (ITA) (Group 1); at level of Berry’s ligament (Group 2). Patients were evaluated with indirect laryngoscopy on 3rd postoperative day, if nerve damage was determined, at each six months. Nerve damage and postop hypocalcemia were accepted transient up to 6th month, permanent after 6th month. Total serum calcium levels were postoperatively measured on 24th and 48th hours, and then monthly.
RESULTS: Unilateral and bilateral RLN damage were detected as 4.4% and 2.2% in Group 1; and 8% and 2.67% in Group 2, respectively. The frequency of RLN damage was similar (p=0.62). Postoperative hypocalcemia was significantly higher in Group 1 (p=0.04); hypocalcemia was similar (p=0.149). One patient in Group 1, and 2 patients in Group 2 had f superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) injury. Three patients from each group showed permanent hypocalcemia.
One patient in Group 1, and two in Group 2 developed permanent hoarseness.
DISCUSSION: RLN injury was similar in both groups, however, temporary hypocalcemia was more frequent in patients undergone thyroidectomy with RLN identification at ITA level.
CONCLUSIONS: Devascularization of parathyroid glands may be accused. Future studies are needed.