Long-term outcome of functional post-thyroidectomy voice and swallowing symptoms

Celestino Pio Lombardi, Marco Raffaelli, Carmela De Crea, Lucia D'Alatri, Gaetano Paludetti, Rocco Domenico Alfonso Bellantone, Daria Maccora, Maria Raffaella Marchese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Voice and swallowing symptoms are frequently reported early after thyroidectomy even in the absence of laryngeal nerves injury. We evaluated the short-term and long-term outcomes of these functional alterations. METHODS: Consenting patients undergoing total thyroidectomy (TT) were enrolled. Videolaryngostroboscopy (VSL), acoustic voice analysis (AVA), and maximum phonation time (MPT) were performed pre-operatively, 3 months postoperatively, and >1 year postoperatively. Subjective evaluation of voice (Voice Impairment Score=VIS) and swallowing (Swallowing Impairment Score=SIS) were obtained pre-operatively, as well as 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and >1 year postoperatively. RESULTS: The long-term evaluation was completed in 110 patients. The percentage of patients with symptoms 1 week after operation was significantly higher than preoperatively, whereas it was significantly lower at long-term evaluation. VIS was significantly worse than pre-operatively, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after surgery, but it was similar to pre-operative >1 year after TT. SIS was significantly worse 1 week after thyroidectomy but not 1 month and 3 months after thyroidectomy, and it was significantly lower than the pre-operative >1 year after TT. CONCLUSION: Vocal and swallowing symptoms are frequent after TT. In the absence of laryngeal nerve injury, after an initial impairment, late after operation, patients experienced subjective amelioration of their voice and swallowing performances, which may be related to the resolution of compressive symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1181
Number of pages8
JournalSurgery
Volume146
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Deglutition Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Nerve Injuries
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injuries
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Time Factors
  • Voice Disorders
  • Voice Quality

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