This retrospective study, of a single surgeon’s experience, evaluates the role of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) for total thyroidectomy, in a low-volume district general hospital.
128 patients with normal preoperative vocal fold function underwent thyroid surgery with routine use of nerve monitoring. Patients were followed for 6 months after surgery, and postoperative Romanerve function was determined by fiberoptic laryngoscopy.
One (0,8%) patient was found to have a unilateral vocal fold paralysis, but after 6 months this patient had regained vocal fold motion.
The technique of intraoperative neuromonitoring in thyroid surgery is safe and reliable in excluding postoperative recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy; it has high accuracy, specificity, sensitivity and negative predictive value. Neuromonitoring is useful to identify the recurrent laryngeal nerve and it can be a useful adjunctive technique for reassuring surgeons of the functional integrity of the nerve.
Its application can be particularly recommended for low-volume thyroid operation centres.