Rebar Akram Kareem a, and Hiwa Asaad Abdulkareem b

a Sulaimani Teaching Hospital, Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. 

b College of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.

Submitted: 17/6/2021; Accepted: 15/3/2022; Published: 21/6/2022

DOI Link: https://doi.org/10.17656/jsmc.10356 



Thyroidectomy is common neck surgery, and recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) palsy is one of its devastating complications.


To know the incidence of RLN palsy in patients who underwent thyroid surgeries for benign diseases in Sulaimani city and the effect of age, gender, and indication and types of surgery on its incidence.

Patients and Methods

The prospective observational study included 112 patients admitted to the Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Department of Sulaimani Teaching Hospital and private hospitals in Sulaimani from May to October 2020. All cases of thyroidectomy for benign conditions were included. Patients with voice problems before surgery, thyroid malignancies, follow up for less than one month, and a history of aerodigestive tract surgery was excluded. Age, gender, and preoperative symptoms were recorded. Indications, type and technique of surgery, pre-and postoperative vocal cord status, and complications were evaluated. Mallampati scores were recorded.


The mean ± SD (standard deviation) of patients’ ages was 43.5 ± 13.03 years, ranging from 21 to 75 years. The female to male ratio was 4.9:1, and 78 patients (69.6%) had abnormal thyroid function tests. All collected parameters from age, gender, indication and technique or type of surgery had no significant effect on postoperative vocal cord status. 


The association of age, gender, type and technique of the surgery, indication for surgery, and the diagnosis of thyroid problem with the development of RLN palsy were statistically not significant.


Benign thyroid diseases; Recurrent laryngeal nerve; Thyroid surgery; Vocal cord palsy.


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