For the first time since their inception, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines include a recommendation regarding voice assessment as it pertains to thyroid surgery.1 This marks a distinct change from the 2009 guidelines, which do not mention voice assessment or laryngeal examination. The current guidelines recommend a preoperative voice assessment for all patients undergoing thyroid surgery. Furthermore, a preoperative laryngeal examination is recommended in certain situations: patients with preoperative voice changes, a history of neck or chest surgery, a posteriorly located thyroid cancer, or extensive central compartment nodal disease. The guidelines also recommend that all patients have a postoperative voice assessment, with formal laryngeal examination reserved for patients with voice complaints. This addition to the most recent ATA guidelines marks an important step in the right direction.
Shonka DC, Terris DJ. The American Thyroid Association Guidelines on Voice Assessment—Have We Done Enough?. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;142(2):115-116. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2015.3222