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December 1986

Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve: Identification During Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, La Paz Hospital, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(12):1286-1288. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780120050009

• Intraoperative identification of the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) is mandatory in surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands to avoid surgical damage. Several methods have been proposed for identifying and localizing the RLN based on vocal cord motion produced by electrical stimulation of the nerve. Most of them require complex instrumentation, while others are in contradiction with anatomical basis. We present a safe and simple method for identifying the RLN during thyroid and parathyroid gland surgery, which requires no additional surgical instruments and can be performed as a routine procedure. Nonetheless, thorough knowledge of cervical anatomy still remains the most important point in this surgery.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1986;112:1286-1288)