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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-20

Management of vocal complications post thyroidectomy at king abdullah medical city from 2011 to 2018

1 Head and Neck Skull Base Surgery Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2 Umm Al-Qura University, College of Medicine, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
3 Taif University School of Medicine, Taif, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Otology and Cochlear Implant Surgery, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Head and Neck and Skull Base Surgery Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rawan Rajallah Aljohani
Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/SJOH.SJOH_25_20

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Background: The most common critical complication after thyroidectomy is vocal cord dysfunction. The leading cause of that problem is injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN). Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study was applied to 266 patients who underwent thyroidectomy procedures at King Abdullah Medical City between the years of 2011 and 2018. Patients with preexisting vocal cord abnormalities and neurological conditions affecting the voice or swallowing ability were excluded. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (IBM SPSS Statistics V21.0). Results: Out of the 266 patients, the incidence of RLN injury was significantly higher if the patient had a previous thyroid surgery, especially among cancer patients (30.4% in cancer vs. 9.2% in noncancer, P = 0.001). Patients who presented with postoperative vocal complications were only five; four of them developed temporary unilateral vocal cord palsy (1.6%) and were managed with speech therapy, however, one patient had a permanent bilateral vocal cord palsy (0.4%) that was managed with tracheostomy and laser vocal cordotomy. Conclusion: The incidence of vocal cord complication due to thyroidectomies was comparatively rare. Thyroid complications were present more in cancer patients.

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