There are a significantly large number of individuals who develop vocal cord paralysis due to injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve at the time of thyroidectomy. One of us (P. H. H.)1 has reported that unilateral paralysis occurs in 1.5 to 15% and bilateral paralysis in less than 1% of patients in whom thyroidectomy has been done. Feuz2 reported a series of 250 patients examined carefully, before and after operation, with 7.6% incidence of organic paralysis due to the operation. In a series of 3,000 thyroidectomies, Lahey and Hoover 3 found that by routine dissection and demonstration of the recurrent laryngeal nerves in thyroid surgery he had lowered the incidence of nerve injuries in three years from 1.6 to 0.3%. In a series of 504 patients, Mulligan4 reported that 32 patients, or 6.3%, incurred injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerves. The recurrent laryngeal nerve had been identified by
Ranke EJ, Holinger PH. PARALYSIS OF VOCAL CORDS FOLLOWING THYROIDECTOMY: A STUDY OF ITS ASSOCIATION WITH HYPOTHYROIDISM AND HYPOPARATHYROIDISM. JAMA. 1955;158(7):543–547. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960070019006
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