Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Surgeon. 2018 Aug 28. pii: S1479-666X(18)30094-5. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2018.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Is there a role for routine laryngoscopy before and after parathyroid surgery?

Author information

1
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Endocrine Surgery, Department of General Surgery, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Glossop Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 2JF, UK. Electronic address: georgefowler@doctors.org.uk.
2
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Endocrine Surgery, Department of General Surgery, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Glossop Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 2JF, UK.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) palsy is a potential complication of parathyroid surgery with significant morbidity and a cause of medico-legal litigation. Peri-operative laryngoscopy to assess RLN function helps identify a vocal cord palsy and guide management. The value of its routine use in asymptomatic patients is however unclear. The low risk of permanent palsy, rarity of true asymptomatic palsy and costs, discomfort and inconvenience to patients are arguments against routine laryngoscopy. This study assessed the results of routine laryngoscopy in patients having parathyroid surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT).

METHODS:

All patients having parathyroid surgery for PHPT (exclusion: re-do surgery and concurrent thyroidectomy) over a 3-year period were included from a tertiary endocrine surgical unit. Data on voice-related outcomes and pre- and post-operative laryngoscopy, including its local cost, were collected and analysed.

RESULTS:

Of 189 patients who underwent parathyroid surgery, 66 had a unilateral neck exploration. The incidence of vocal cord palsy was 0.5% (1 in 186 patients) and 1.7% (3 in 179 patients) for pre- and post-operative laryngoscopy respectively. The single patient with pre-operative cord palsy was asymptomatic. Of the three with post-operative cord palsy, two were temporary and symptomatic and one was asymptomatic. In the region, the clinical commissioning group was charged £127.00 per laryngoscopy, amounting to £46,736.00 for the whole cohort.

CONCLUSIONS:

The rare nature of vocal cord palsy suggests laryngoscopy is not necessary for patients having surgery for PHPT. It may be reserved for patients with voice change and those having re-operative or concomitant thyroid surgery.

KEYWORDS:

Laryngoscopy; Parathyroid surgery; Parathyroidectomy; Primary hyperparathyroidism; Recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center