Quantitative study of voice dysfunction after thyroidectomy

James C Lee, Daniel Breen, Amanda Scott, Simon Grodski, Meei Yeung, William Johnson, Jonathan Serpell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND:Up to 80% of patients without a recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy report alteration in their voice after a thyroid procedure. The aims of this study were (1) to quantify voice changes after thyroid operation; (2) to correlate the changes to the extent of operation; and (3) to correlate voice changes to intraoperative recurrent laryngeal nerve swelling. METHODS:Patients undergoing total and hemithyroidectomy were recruited prospectively from the Monash University Endocrine Surgery Unit during a 12-month period. Voice quality was scored subjectively using the Voice Disorder Index (score 0-40, from best to worst) and objectively using the Dysphonia Severity Index (score -5 to 5, from worst to best), before and after operation. These assessments were carried out by 2 speech pathologists. Recurrent laryngeal nerve diameter was measured intraoperatively at the commencement and conclusion of the lobectomy, using Vernier calipers with a resolution of 0.1 mm. Statistical methods used included Student t test, χ(2), Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and linear regression. RESULTS:A total of 62 patients were included in the study, with a mean age of 48 ± 16 years and a female preponderance (6:1). Overall, the voice quality deteriorated both subjectively (mean Voice Disorder Index 4.2 ± 0.8-9.4 ± 1.2, P 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1576-1581
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
EventAcademic Surgical Congress 2016 - Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, United States of America
Duration: 2 Feb 20164 Feb 2016
Conference number: 11th

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