eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
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abstract:
Clinical research

Training in intraoperative neuromonitoring of recurrent laryngeal nerves reduces the risk of their injury during thyroid surgery

Dorota Kuryga
,
Piotr Wojskowicz
,
Jaroslaw Szymczuk
,
Anna Wojdyla
,
Anna J. Milewska
,
Marcin Barczynski
,
Jacek Dadan
,
Marek Rogowski
,
Piotr Mysliwiec

Online publish date: 2019/06/07
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Introduction
Even though incidence of recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy (RLNP) is low, it affects importantly the quality of life of patients and remains one of main medicolegal litigation problems in surgery. Intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) has become widely accepted tool helping in recurrent laryngeal nerve identification, however no clear association of IONM with RLNP rate has been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to assess whether training in IONM influences rates of RNLP after thyroid surgery as an independent factor.

Material and methods
We analysed retrospectively 1235 patients who underwent thyroidectomy at the 1st Department of General and Endocrine Surgery, Medical University of Bialystok. Possible risk factors for RLNP were evaluated: application or not of IONM, the extent of surgery or thyroid pathology in correlation with surgeons’ experience in IONM (trained or untrained).

Results
There were 2351 nerves at risk (NAR) and 39 RNLP were diagnosed after thyroid surgery (1.66%). Surgeons trained in IONM performed 52.2% of all operations (1200 NAR) with 7 RLNP (0.58%), whereas not-trained had 32 RLNP for 1151 NAR (2.8%; p < 0.001). After 182 thyroidectomies (357 NAR) guided by IONM (14.7%) 3 RLNP were observed (0.84%) vs. 36 palsies per 1994 NAR without IONM (1.81%; p = 0.189). The highest danger of RLNP was reported after reoperations and the lowest after subtotal thyroidectomies. We found no association between thyroid pathology and RLNP rate.

Conclusions
According to our study training in IONM decreases chances of RLNP especially during total or near total thyroidectomy.

keywords:

education, thyroidectomy, recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, intraoperative neuromonitoring

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