alexa Voice changes and thyroid surgery: is pre-operative indirect laryngoscopy necessary?
Diabetes & Endocrinology

Diabetes & Endocrinology

Journal of Thyroid Disorders & Therapy

Author(s): Yeung P, Erskine C, Mathews P, Crowe PJ

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BACKGROUND: Indirect laryngoscopy (IDL) is often performed prior to thyroid surgery to detect pre-existing vocal cord pathology. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 201 patients undergoing thyroid surgery at the Prince of Wales Hospital was undertaken in order to study the patterns of pre-operative and postoperative voice changes and IDL findings. RESULTS: A total of 9% of patients had pre-operative voice symptoms, and 22% of this group had abnormalities detected on pre-operative IDL. Of 160 documented IDL, 4% revealed vocal cord pathology in asymptomatic patients, including an asymptomatic recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy. CONCLUSIONS: Indirect laryngoscopy remains a useful but flawed pre-operative screening tool for patients with voice symptoms, but the literature suggests that more advanced phoniatric tests will provide superior diagnostic sensitivity. The role of routine pre-operative laryngoscopy for asymptomatic patients is of debatable value.

This article was published in Aust N Z J Surg and referenced in Journal of Thyroid Disorders & Therapy

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