The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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January - March 2015, Volume 11, Issue 1
Notes & Comments

Giulea C, Martin S, Safta D, Miron A

Evaluation of Recurrential Complications after Total Thyroidectomy

Acta Endo (Buc) 2015, 11 (1): 124-129
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2015.124

Background. The recurrent paralysis is the most important complication after total thyroidectomy. Vocal dysfunction can have multiple causes. Based on strict clinical criteria, the follow-up of patients who underwent a thyroidectomy may lead to wrong conclusions concerning possible recurrent nerve injury. Purpose. The aim of this study was to evaluate recurrential complications after total thyroidectomy by an ENT endoscopic examination. Method. We prospectively analyzed 100 cases of thyroid operations with a total number of 190 recurrent laryngeal nerve with lesional risk. Fourteen patients were operated for malignant disease. The patients were divided into two groups: group A (patients with high risk of recurrential injury) and group B (patients with low risk of recurrential injury). The operations were performed by one surgical team. The surgical interventions were followed in the 2nd postoperative day by an ENT endoscopic examination in order to assess vocal cords mobility. In patients with voice changes, ENT examination was repeated as many times was needed. At the same time a clinical examination of the quality of phonation was carried out. Results. From the total number of 100 patients examined with 190 nerves at risk, there were 7 patients with recurrent temporary paralyses (3.7%). After 6 months postoperative, there was a single patient with recurrent paralysis (0.5% ). Regarding permanent recurrent paralysis, there was no patient with paresis after one postoperative year (0%). There was no significant difference regarding the recurrent paralysis between patients with high or low risk of recurrential injury. Conclusions. The damage function of the recurrent nerve is recovered in 30 days in most cases and almost 100% in six months. Belonging to a low or high risk group is not associated with the development of motility disorders. The simple following of the clinical manifestations can lead to erroneous conclusions.

Keywords: total thyroidectomy, recurrent laryngeal nerve, paralysis.

Correspondence: Adrian Miron MD, Elias Hospital - Surgery, 17 Marasti, Bucharest, 011461, Romania, E-mail: