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How to Preserve Laryngeal Nerve for PreventingPost-Thyroidectomy Voice Change
Clin Exp Thyroidol 2014;7(2):153-158
Published online November 30, 2014
© 2014 Korean Thyroid Association.

Ji Won Kim and Seung-Ho Choi

Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Received May 2, 2014; Revised June 16, 2014; Accepted June 24, 2014.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
After thyroid surgery, voice change occurs very frequently, in more than 30% of cases. In addition to injuryto the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) or the external branch of superior laryngeal nerve (EBSLN), vocal foldedema due to excessive tracheal traction or disrupted laryngeal venous drainage, and laryngotracheal fixationfollowing injury to extralaryngeal musculature can cause post-thyroidectomy voice change. Although completerecovery can be expected mostly in 3 months, dysphonic patients should be evaluated pre and postoperativelyby laryngoscopy or laryngeal stroboscopy. The present review discusses the evaluation of voice change, theanatomy of RLN and EBSLN and common cause of voice change after thyroid surgery. Furthermore, werepresent how to preserve RLN, SLN including intraoperative nerve monitoring.
Keywords : Thyroidectomy, Recurrent laryngeal nerve, External branch of superior laryngeal nerve

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