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Abstract

Thyroid surgery is unique in head and neck surgery in that both right and left cranial nerves are subject to risk in one surgical procedure. It is a well-known fact that unilateral vocal cord palsy can lead to voice changes sufficient enough to alter vocation especially in professional voice users, and may be accompanied by dysphagia and aspiration, whereas bilateral vocal cord paralysis may necessitate a tracheostomy [1]. Current reported rates for temporary vocal cord paralysis range anywhere between 1.4 and 38.4 % (average 9.8 %), whereas it ranges between 0 and 18.6 % (average 2.3 %) for permanent vocal cord paralysis [2]. Thus importance of ensuring functional integrity of the recurrent laryngeal nerve anatomy (RLN) during thyroid surgery cannot be overstated.

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Modi, R.R., Kamani, D., Randolph, G.W. (2016). Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring. In: Lombardi, C., Bellantone, R. (eds) Minimally Invasive Therapies for Endocrine Neck Diseases. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20065-1_18

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