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May 25, 1957

The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerves in Thyroid Surgery

JAMA. 1957;164(4):503. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980040143035

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This monograph is a study of the extralaryngeal portions of the recurrent laryngeal nerves on the right and left sides of the neck. Although 250 nerves were dissected in 125 cadavers, it was thought best to report on the 100 specimens that remained intact on complete exposure. Such painstaking dissection in an area where variations are the rule is commendable. Equally praiseworthy are the clear and accurate illustrations. Much worthwhile material has been presented. Of the 200 nerves dissected, 57% were found to be single trunk nerves while the rest were divided. Bilateral division occurred in 24% of the specimens. This nerve may branch at any point peripheral to its separation from the vagus nerve. The point at which this nerve is most vulnerable during a thyroidectomy is on the postero-lateral surface of the thyroid gland at the level of the junction between the middle and lower thirds. Here the

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