Voice problems are common after thyroidectomy. The aim of this study was to assess the voice related quality of life after thyroidectomy with neuromonitoring. The sociodemographic and treatment factors influencing the quality of voice after the operation were investigated.
A total of 40 patients after thyroidectomy with neuromonitoring were enrolled into the study. The voice outcome was analyzed pre and postoperatively by two validated self-assessment questionnaires: Voice Handicap Index and Voice-Related Quality of Life survey.
All external branches of the superior laryngeal nerve were identified during the operation. There were no recurrent laryngeal nerve palsies. The mean total VHIs before and after thyroid operation were 1.2 [SD 2.564] and 2.8 [SD 6.944], respectively (p = 0.5). Preoperatively, the mean overall score for the V-RQOL was 99.6; postoperatively 98.7 (p = 0.05). A strong correlation between the V-score of the V-RQOL and O-score of the VHI before and after thyroidectomy was observed (both p < 0.001).
There was no correlation between V-RQOL or VHI and sex, the kind of thyroid operations, diagnosis, thyroid function, the mean volume of the goitre, the presence of retrosternal position and the extent of thyroid operations (p > 0.05). A small correlation between the mean age of the patients and postoperative O-Score of the VHI (p = 0.007650) and between the mean age and postoperative V-Score for the V-RQOL (p = 0.00648) was observed.
The use of neuromonitoring in thyroid surgery is beneficial for patients to improve voice quality. The identification and preservation of EBSLNs is crucial to eliminate altered voice after thyroidectomy.