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Int J Surg Case Rep. 2018;53:517-521. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2017.04.030. Epub 2017 May 15.

Retrograde Thyroidectomy for preservation of the External Branch of the Superior Laryngeal Nerve: A case series.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences, The University of West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
2
Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences, The University of West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Electronic address: sssl201198@yahoo.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The external branch of the Superior Laryngeal nerve (EBSLN) is at high risk of injury in surgery for large multinodular goitre (MNG) since the upper pole is high in the neck, well cephalad to the EBSLN. We present a technique of drawing the lobe caudally by retrograde thyroidectomy in order to minimize nerve injury.

DESIGN & METHOD:

All patients having surgery for benign MNG were included. Cases with previous thyroid surgery, malignant and toxic disease were excluded. The thyroid lobe was mobilized from its inferior aspect and capsular dissection performed cephalad with bipolar or ligasure cautery, lifting the gland off the trachea while separating it from the parathyroids and branches of the inferior thyroid vessels. The ligament of Berry is divided and the entire lobe freed, attached only by the superior pedicle which is drawn caudally well below the EBSLN prior to ligation. Patients were followed for voice change at 24 hours, 7 days and 3 months.

RESULTS:

Ninety-one consecutive lobectomies were done in 60 patients, 31 bilateral. Forty-four (73%) patients had voice change at 24h, 10 (11%) at 7days and 1 at 3 months. The patient with persistent voice change complained of change in tone but not volume; vocal cords were normal on indirect laryngoscopy.

CONCLUSION:

Retrograde thyroidectomy is recommended for large MNG where the EBSLN lies well below the upper pole; it minimizes risk to the nerve.

KEYWORDS:

External branch of superior laryngeal nerve injury; Multi-nodular goiter; Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury; Retro-grade thyroidectomy

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