Should intraoperative nerve monitoring be used routinely in primary thyroid surgeries?
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Objective: This study presents the effects of intraoperative nerve monitoring on RLN injuries in patients who underwent primary surgery for benign thyroid pathology. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the data of 273 patients who had primary thyroidectomy due to benign thyroid pathology between January 2012 and July 2017. The patients were classified into two groups. Group-1 consists of patients whose nerves were monitored. We separated the patients whose nerves were not monitored into Group-2. Results: There were 140 and 133 patients in Groups 1 and 2, respectively. Regarding the age, gender and surgical indication between the groups, statistically significant difference was not found (P > 0.05). In Group-1, transient paralysis developed in four patients (2.9%). The permanent paralysis developed in one patient (0.7%). In Group-2, transient paralysis developed in nine patients (6.8%). The permanent paralysis developed in four patients (3%). When the groups were evaluated, there was statistically significant difference in terms of transient and permanent paralysis (P=0.01, P = 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: In view of the negative effects of RLN injury on the patient, we think that intraoperative nerve monitoring should be used routinely in benign thyroid surgeries.