The appearance of the neck following operations on the thyroid gland depends on asepsis, proper drainage and normal extension of the head. When the patient is placed in bed, whether or not in an elevated position, the head often remains flexed and the neck twisted for from one to several weeks after the operation. During this time, irregular folds develop and the flap slides down and heals in a lower position than the normal. This often produces above the scar superabundant tissue which can be removed only by a resection.
For some time I have been applying for the first four days a multijointed metal splint outside the dressings, well padded above and below the edges so that the patient is unconscious of any disturbing pressure. This splint holds the head extended and keeps the neck from twisting, resulting in a more rapid reunion of the flap as well as
Roeder CA. THE USE OF SPLINTS AND DRAINS FOLLOWING RESECTIONS OF THE GOITROUS THYROID. JAMA. 1931;97(5):320–321. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.27310050002011a
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