Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury following thyroid operations

G. R. Holt, G. T. McMurry, D. J. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Preoperative and postoperative laryngoscopy should be performed with thyroid operations. A prospective study of 121 thyroid operations from June 1970 to December 1974 was analyzed. There was a 4.2 per cent recurrent laryngeal nerve injury incidence in 217 nerves at risk, four of nine injuries being permanent. Of 217 superior laryngeal nerves at risk, 1.4 per cent were injured, one of three permanently. Previous thyroid operations may place the laryngeal nerves at a greater risk. Transient edema of the laryngeal nerve in 13.4 per cent of the patients was believed due to endotracheal intubation. There seemed to be no difference in the incidence of injury whether the nerves were seen or palpated. It is recommended that indirect laryngoscopy be performed in the course of evaluating thyroid disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-570
Number of pages4
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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