Long-term voice quality outcomes after total thyroidectomy: a prospective multicenter study

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Postthyroidectomy voice disorders can occur without any recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, and probably are the most frequent complication after thyroidectomy. We report the long-term voice quality outcomes after total thyroidectomy without vocal cord palsy using a simple self-assessment tool: the voice handicap index self-questionnaire.


This observational prospective multicenter study included 203 patients from the “ThyrQoL” study (ClinicalTrial NCT02167529), who underwent total thyroidectomy between October 2014 and August 2015 in 3 French Hospitals (Nantes, La Roche-sur-Yon, and Limoges). Exclusion criteria included confirmed malignant disease, age <18 years, and preoperative voice troubles with confirmed vocal cord palsy. Direct flexible laryngoscopy was performed after surgery. Nineteen patients with a postoperative vocal cord palsy were excluded from analysis.


One hundred and seventy-six patients with no vocal cord palsy were analyzed. Voice handicap index scores were significantly altered on postoperative month 2 compared with preoperative values (7.02 ± 11.56 vs 14.41 ± 19.44; P < .0001). Voice handicap index scores were not significantly different on postoperative month 6 compared with preoperative values (7.02 ± 11.56 vs 7.61 ± 14.02; P = .381). Thirty-six patients (20.5%) described significant voice impairment 2 months after total thyroidectomy. Nine patients (5.7%) still experienced significant discomfort at 6 months.


Twenty percent of patients had initial voice impairment at 2 months postthyroidectomy, with a progressive recovery to preoperative levels at 6 months with <6% with persistent voice complaints.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles