The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

A Current View on Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injury in Total Thyroidectomy


Introduction: Recurrent laryngeal nerve damage during total thyroidectomy was, is, and probably will be in the near future the Achilles’ heel of total thyroidectomy. Material and method: To perform the research we used the PubMed database. The questions were conceived to respect the PICOS guidelines. The PRISMA checklist was used to filter the results. The search was structured following the words: „recurrent laryngeal nerve injury” AND „total thyroidectomy”. Results: A total of 60 papers were identified. We excluded 12 papers as they were duplicates. From the 48 papers left, another 4 could not be obtained. Another 3 papers from the 44 left were excluded due to the fact they were not written in English. One paper was excluded as the subject did not follow our research purpose. 40 papers were left for analysis and discussion. Conclusion: To prevent recurrent laryngeal nerve lesions, at the moment in the literature there is no consensus. Unintentional injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve is predictable but not an avertible situation thus bilateral lesions still represent a dramatic situation across the world for the patients and the operating surgeon.