Introduction: Thyroidectomy poses many challenges for the surgeon who undertakes endocrine surgery and iatrogenic injury of inferior laryngeal nerve (ILN) is one of the most serious (0-20%). We report our personal experience of a series of 313 thyroidectomy with intraoperative identification of ILN. Methods: 313 patients (253 females, 60 males, whose age was between 17 and 86 years, mean 41 years) had undergone thyroidectomy in our Operative Unit from January 2000 to January 2004. Among them, 259 patients underwent total extracapsular thyroidectomy, 38 subtotal thyroidectomy, 5 istmo-lobectomy and 11 were completions of thyroidectomy in patients who had previously undergone a first thyroid surgical intervention. Results: We identified 588 ILN (in all cases), in the left or in the right side only in case of istmo-lobectomy or completion of thyroidectomy. In two cases (0.63%) we noticed on the right side a non recurrent laryngeal nerve. Concerning the postoperative results we noticed only one case (0.38%) of ILN injury with monolateral cordai hypo-motility and temporary disphonia, actually on phoniatric therapy at follow-up. Conclusion: A strong knowledge of the anatomy and embryology of the thyroid region, a commitment to meticulous attention to detail, the awareness of the extremely varying course of the ILN and the inferior thyroid artery and their relations, and adequate experience are all required to maintain a level of expertise and avoid ILN. Thyroid carcinoma, recurrent goitre, total thyroidectomy operation, duration of the operation are factors which increase the risk of postoperative ILN injury.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||ANNALI ITALIANI DI CHIRURGIA|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
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